Increasing innovation and transition challenges in energy creation, storage and use

With more governments and businesses setting emission reduction and Net Zero targets, there is increasing attention to renewable energy technologies with an emphasis on Hydrogen power. The shift to renewable energies also comes with potential risks for mineral extraction and increased waste.

Changes we are seeing

There is increasing commitment to and investment in renewable energy technologies. 

  • The Australian Energy Market Operator’s  30 year plan includes preparing the grid to manage 100% renewable potential by 20251.
  • Increasing share of renewables in electricity generation in Australia since 1995/96 with federal commitments to reduce emissions2.
  • Deployment of technologies such as stored thermal energy (water, silicone and sand), low carbon fuels such as renewable diesel and Power to X (P2X) fuels to replace fossil fuels, and floating solar.

There are potential emerging new waste streams and associated demands on water and mineral resources.

  • There are potential implications for increased water use in energy creation, storage and use.
  • The amount of waste retired solar photovoltaic is likely to be over 1.5 million tonnes by 20503.

Hydrogen technologies are on the rise and considered critical for powering the future.

  • Estimates that hydrogen and its derivates will make up 12% of final energy consumption by 2050 with increasing calls for decarbonisation (green) of hydrogen4.

Ongoing debate around nuclear solutions for Australia.

Globally, demand for traditional energy sources remains strong, creating possible transition risks.

  • Geopolitical crises and energy security risks are impacting decarbonisation efforts in many countries.
  • Increasing risk of operational failure of Australian coal power plants given ageing infrastructure and skills shortages.

Carbon capture and storage is drawing increasing attention as a pathway for reducing carbon footprints.

  • Increasing investment in carbon capture and storage, with carbon storage tech increasingly considered to be more viable step in decarbonisation.
  • Interest in land based carbon sequestration associated with vegetation and soil management.