The Australian National University has launched a $10 million Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific research initiative that intends to build a body of research and knowledge it hopes will re-position Australia as a major exporter of renewable energy to the Asia Pacific region.
In launching the project, the ANU has recognised that Australia’s resources heavy export industry, particularly one that is overly reliant on fossil fuel exports, is vulnerable to a global transition away from coal and gas.
The ANU estimates that by 2035, the Asia-Pacific region will account for around two-thirds of the world’s energy demand. Additionally, Australia’s energy exports currently account for around 10% of global trade in fossil-fuel based emissions, placing Australia in a powerful position to influence the global flow of emissions-intensive resources, for good and for bad.
“In a rapidly decarbonising world, Australia needs to transform from exporting fossil fuels to exporting renewables,” head of the ANU’s Energy Change Institute Professor Ken Baldwin said.
“Iron ore and coal are our two biggest exports. But changes are already underway in the Asia-Pacific region and Australia will not be able to rely on traditional fossil fuel exports indefinitely.”
“This project will help Australia contribute to this challenge. It will show how we can harness our abundant renewable energy to ensure we remain an energy export powerhouse.”