SECURING AUSTRALIA'S FUTURE: RENEWABLE RECOVERY FROM COVID-19
Our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower.
Let’s support an Australian renewable energy export COVID-19 stimulus package
The world is facing a once-in-a-lifetime challenge as we start to rebuild from COVID-19. But it could be Australia’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
We have a choice. Australia can invest in old technologies and get left behind as the rest of the world shifts to a low carbon future. Or we could emerge from this crisis as a renewable energy super power in a post-COVID world.
A renewable-led recovery would create over 100,000 direct jobs and future-proof our economy.
It would bring manufacturing back to our shores, grow existing industries, unlock new industries and boost global exports.
Every dollar of stimulus spent on clean energy projects generates nearly three times as many jobs per dollar than investment in fossil fuel projects.
That’s why we’re calling on the Australian Government, and the states to support a $2 billion renewable-led stimulus package.
Together with business and industry leaders, we’re asking for five targeted stimulus measures:
- Battery nation: Let’s unlock Australia’s potential to become a leader in global battery manufacturer. A $500 million government investment would position Australia as a global leader in the advanced manufacturing revolution. We could become the ‘battery nation’, while creating 4,500 manufacturing jobs and an additional 2,300 jobs in construction and installation.Learn more about how we can do this.
- Local solar: Let’s deliver at least one new solar project in every community across the country A $500 million government investment would deliver the biggest solar roll-out Australia has ever seen. It would create up to 5,000 jobs and cut the cost of energy for thousands of schools, hospitals, country fire stations and Indigenous communities across regional Australia.
- Electric bus revolution: Let’s convert Australia’s buses to electric; we can make the world’s best buses right here, and sell them across the globe A $240 million government investment would see Australia fast-track the electric bus revolution and build a national manufacturing sector supplying electric buses to the world. This would double our current bus manufacturing workforce from 10,000 to 20,000.
- Modernising manufacturing: Let’s convert our manufacturing industries to renewable power sources, so they can be resilient and competitive in a global market Australian industry is the most energy inefficient in the developed world. With a $520 million government investment, we can reduce energy bills and boost the efficiency of Aussie manufacturing, while creating 22,000 new jobs.
- Accelerating renewable hydrogen: Let’s accelerate renewable hydrogen and become a global supplier of the ‘fuel of the future’ With a $225 million government investment we can manufacture renewable hydrogen right here using Aussie infrastructure and export it to the world. This would increase our fuel security and put us at the forefront of an expanding global market.
Rebuilding a sustainable future
Australia is famous for its endless sunshine, enormous spaces, powerful winds, world-class expertise and strong trade relationships. With the inevitable global shift to a low carbon future, we have the tools and expertise at our fingertips to become a world leader in the export of renewable energy technology.
An Aussie invented the modern solar cell. And today, Australia has one of the highest installation rates of solar in the world. We are a nation of innovation – let’s show the world what we’re made of.
Right now, we need to invest in Australia’s professional, scientific and technical knowledge-base, and support renewable energy education and upskilling.
It’s time to move forward, not backward, and deliver a stimulus package that will guarantee long-term economic, employment and environmental benefits for generations to come.
Bringing manufacturing back
A renewable export COVID-19 recovery provides exciting new opportunities for traditional industries that have been doing it tough. This is our chance to rebuild our manufacturing and export industries, and in turn, redesign Australia’s future.
We know that Aussies were devastated to see our car manufacturing industry all but close-down. It’s one of many examples where we’ve watched our skilled workers walk out the door.
But, as part of a renewables-led recovery, Aussie manufacturing will have the chance to thrive once again, making renewable energy batteries and electric buses for the modern economy, along with components for solar energy, wind power and emerging clean technology.
Through the COVID-19 crisis, Aussie manufacturers have shown that we have the ability to adapt and step up when it counts. Together, we can take on the world and create a cleaner, safer and brighter future.
A Renewable Energy Superpower
Our “Australian renewable export COVID-19 recovery package” is the first example of the kinds of projects that could make Australia a renewable energy superpower. There are opportunities for every part of the country to thrive through six types of renewable export:
- Renewable power manufactured products like green steel
- Sending electricity overseas through projects like “Sun Cable”
- Components for renewable energy like wind turbines and batteries
- Renewable hydrogen
- Software and services for things like grid management
- Clean energy expertise - in legal, financial, engineering and other fields
Australia has powerful potential to harness energy and build a renewable future, and we can achieve this through batteries. A battery system can store excess electricity generated during the day from solar or wind power. Large scale battery storage can help stabilise the grid, future proofing our energy system or can be used in innovative new technology such as electric cars and buses. Australia has all the pre-conditions to capture the full value of the battery supply chain and there already many operations kicking off around the country. Read more about battery storage.
Hydrogen is a huge opportunity for Australia. We have all of the right ingredients - some of the world’s best renewable resources, particularly wind and solar, abundant land, a skilled workforce, strong R&D capabilities and well established trading relationships with countries like Japan and South Korea interested in hydrogen. Learn more here.
Local solar stimulus
In partnership with Original Power, WWF-Australia is calling for a $70 million Aboriginal Solar Stimulus program that would support Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities to lower their power bills, reduce energy poverty and create local jobs in the installation and maintenance of solar and battery systems. Learn more here.
The need to manufacture products locally to ensure Australia’s supply of essential goods has been reinforced by Covid-19. Yet only 7% of the Australian workforce is currently involved in manufacturing – about 729,000 people. Economic stimulus is needed to drive industry innovation and renewable energy has a role to play in this.
Electric bus revolution
Demand for electric buses is growing rapidly across the globe and there's no signs of it slowing down. As a nation, we’re ready to put the pedal to the metal. A $240 million government investment in electric buses will set up a strong manufacturing sector for years to come and will mean long-lasting benefits of cleaner air and a healthier environment for everyone. Learn more about the potential of an electric bus revolution here.
The following companies and organisations have endorsed WWF’s proposed stimulus package:
If your business wants to get involved and support a renewable recovery too, get in touch with us.