Essay by Eric Worrall
A glorious vision of green steel, green cement, green fertiliser, green hydrogen and a green energy export business. Prosperity revitalised. Shame the numbers don’t add up.
Albanese just laid out a radical new vision for Australia in the region: clean energy exporter and green manufacturer
John Mathews Professor Emeritus, Macquarie Business School, Macquarie University
Elizabeth Thurbon Scientia Associate Professor in International Relations / International Political Economy, UNSW Sydney
Hao Tan Associate Professor, Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle
Sung-Young Kim Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Discipline of Politics & International Relations, Macquarie School of Social Sciences, Macquarie University
Published: July 14, 2022 6.03am AEST
Our clean and green transition is bigger than just renewables
Since Labor took office, we’ve heard a lot about our future as a renewables superpower. Often overlooked is the fact this would mean not just generating renewable electricity and green hydrogen at vast scale but also investing in new industries and processes to grasp as many opportunities as we can.
This would mean investing in upstream industries such as solar array fabrication and electrolyser manufacture, as well as downstream industries such as green steel, green cement and green fertiliser. These new green products would be produced using locally generated supplies of green hydrogen and cheap clean renewable power, as economist Ross Garnaut has outlined.
Green energy is no longer a niche concern. Australia’s largest companies are leading the way.
Andrew Forrest’s new spin-off company, Fortescue Future Industries, has begun constructing a $1 billion project building green hydrogen manufacturing components, cabling and renewable generation in central Queensland. This single project is expected to double the global production capacity of green hydrogen. It will make Queensland home to a new green hydrogen fuel and components export industry.
If our new government can pull this off and turn vision to reality, we could embrace a new green growth economy and begin our own green industrial revolution.
Better yet, Australia could finally make full use of its abundant land and renewable resources to fast-track the clean economic development of our Indo-Pacific neighbours.
I understand why people who prize order find this vision beautiful. The world remade, happy workers toiling in the sun, building a better future. A daydream, a worker’s paradise. In my experience though, the authors of such visions rarely picture themselves toiling in the sun alongside the other workers.
The vision of course is false. The numbers don’t add up, and have never added up. S&P’s massive copper shortfall. Billions of tons of material we just don’t have, a government funded chimera, a colossal, doomed waste of resources which will leave us poorer.
via Watts Up With That?
July 18, 2022 at 12:13PM