Utilising industry-led and technology-driven innovation to build business resilience, unlock resources productivity and create employment opportunities are the critical pathways to economic recovery from COVID-19, according to NERA’s latest energy sector report.
Releasing the 2020 update of the Sector Competitiveness Plan, NERA (National Energy Resources Australia) has identified priority areas of action for the $93.1 billion energy resources sector to assist Australia’s communities and the economy rebuild from the global pandemic.
Central to recovery efforts is the urgent need for coherent, targeted and long-term energy and resources policies developed collaboratively between governments and industry over a 10-year horizon to improve productivity performance and manage the energy transition, including providing access to energy for a global population heading toward 9 billion by 2050. However, Australia’s ability to achieve this energy future requires industry to be globally competitive and grow, enabled by structural change to the economy and developing our R&D, innovation and invention into scalable, commercial and high value outcomes.
NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said in the midst of any crisis lies the opportunity for transformation. Australia can seize this once-in-a-generation window to drive structural economic change and growth, improve industry–government collaboration and accelerate the commercialisation and deployment of innovation (such as AI, automation and robotics and low emissions technologies) across industry sectors where we have a competitive and/or strategic advantage. These technologies should form Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector of the future.
“Gas and coal, coupled with carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), will continue to play an important role in helping Australia navigate the energy transition; however, critical minerals, coupled with batteries, and renewables including solar, wind and hydrogen coupled with advanced digital technologies are central to our energy future. This needs to be backed by coordinated and targeted policies that attract investment, build competitive markets and create growth and jobs,” Ms Taylor said.