Australia, Policy, Projects, Renewables, Solar

EU and Australia accelerate renewable energy transition

The European Union and Australia have reaffirmed their commitment to accelerating the global transition to renewable energy sources in a joint statement issued yesterday.

Both parties emphasised the urgent need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and achieve net zero emissions by 2050 to combat climate change.

A key focus area is decarbonising electricity generation through ambitious deployment of renewable power. The EU aims for a 42.5 per cent share of renewables in its total energy consumption by 2030, with aspirations to reach 45 per cent. Australia has set an even higher target of 82 per cent renewable energy supply for its National Electricity Market by 2030.

Recognising the importance of secure supply chains, the joint statement welcomed the EU’s Net Zero Industry Act to boost clean technology manufacturing as well as Australia’s AU$1 billion Solar Sunshot program to capture more global solar supply chain activities.

Offshore wind power was identified as a crucial component, with the EU’s Wind Power Action Plan and Australia’s six priority offshore wind areas outlined. Energy efficiency measures were also highlighted as essential for decarbonisation efforts by both parties.

The statement underscored renewable hydrogen’s role in decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors like steel, chemicals and heavy transport. The EU’s REPowerEU plan and Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy aim to establish reliable global hydrogen supply chains. Cooperation between ports, producers and establishment of “hydrogen hubs” was encouraged.

On the social dimensions, the EU and Australia committed to a just transition ensuring meaningful involvement of Indigenous peoples, women, youth and vulnerable groups. Addressing labor shortages and re-skilling needs for clean energy jobs was flagged as a priority.

According to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, the two partners aims to foster transparent global markets and certification schemes for renewable hydrogen trade flows. They will also cooperate on industrial carbon management solutions like carbon capture and storage.

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