Manufacturing News

New energy superpower to new energy manufacturer – report

Manufacturing News

A new report has identified potential economic benefits from manufacturing above the generalised calls for Australia to become a renewables superpower.

The report from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the Climate Action Network Australia, and the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures lays out the opportunities and actions required to stake out Australia’s value-added future.

The report, Towards a renewable energy superpower, identifies opportunities to develop Australia’s renewable energy supply chains, including battery supply, wind and solar panel manufacture, high-voltage cable manufacturing, and electric vehicle production.

The economic and employment benefits include up to $82 billion in wind tower production by 2050 and up to 60,000 jobs in solar panel manufacture to achieve Australia’s net zero emissions targets.

University of Technology Research Director Dr Chris Briggs said the report sets out five clearly defined key priority actions for government to unlock renewable energy jobs and investment while reducing our carbon emissions.

Dr Briggs said: “We must develop a clear and coherent renewable energy innovation policy to set a roadmap for growth.

“We must establish a fund that can use targeted investment, grants, and incentives to help Australian renewable energy scale into internationally competitive exporters.

“Critically, we must work with state and territory governments to use local content laws and government procurement to support our new renewable energy businesses.

“To build Australia as an energy superpower, we also need to prepare our state vocational education centres, universities, and businesses to train and develop the renewable energy workforce of the future.”

AMWU National Secretary Steven Murphy Australia was a global leader in renewable energy research and development and has access to the best renewable energy sources in the world.

Murphy said: “Yet, our contribution to date has been bound up in our reputation as a ‘dig and ship’ economy, where minerals are sent offshore to produce energy and manufactured goods.

“Transitioning Australia into a renewable energy superpower will deliver secure, high-quality jobs to Australia’s regions.

“It will help onshore new renewable energy manufacturing industries back to Australia, returning investment to our local communities.”

Picture: UTS Sydney, Dr Chris Briggs

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