PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Australian resources sector had the capacity to power the renewable energy revolution, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said this week.
Speaking at a Parliamentary dinner in Canberra, Albanese noted that globally, annual clean energy investment would need to more than triple to reach net zero by 2050, with the demand for lithium production to increase four-fold by 2030, the demand for rare earth elements to double that of current output, a two-thirds increase in nickel production and a third more copper than currently produced.
“There is a world of opportunity here for our country. We have an unmatched natural advantage in clean energy. The sunniest continent on earth, some of the strongest winds in the world – and all the minerals and metals needed to drive the energy transition,” Albanese said.
However, the Prime Minister noted that a natural advantage was no guarantee of success.
“Natural advantages only get you to the start line. Winning the race, leading the world, requires investment and innovation and courage and commitment. And it is a race, no doubt about that.
“There’s strong global demand – and there’s fierce global competition. Chile, Canada and Saudi Arabia are all chasing the same prize, the same jobs, the same chance to lead an economic change every bit as transformational as the industrial revolution.”
Albanese said that the government’s A$15-billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) is aimed at supporting new and emerging industries and the transition of existing industries, and would invest in areas like green steel and aluminium, clean energy component manufacturing, hydrogen electrolysers, and fuel switching.
“The NRF will dedicate a A$1-billion investment in mining science technology and minerals processing to move Australia further up mineral value chains. We are the world’s largest exporter of the raw materials necessary for clean energy technologies, but for decades we’ve shipped these materials overseas and bought back manufactured goods at a premium.
“Our government will invest to unlock more value from our minerals. Because we understand how important your industry is to Australia’s future energy security and our broader economic self-reliance.
“You’re not just part of the transition, you’re the foundation for the next generation of growth and jobs and industry that our nation needs to compete and succeed in a globalised world,” he said.