Hunter Renewable Energy Zone can power $11 billion green export industry

The massive financial interest in the Hunter Renewable Energy Zone has shown that regional Australia can become industrial powerhouses again

16 February 2022

  • Newcastle can be big producer of green hydrogen, steel, aluminium & batteries

  • Governments need to support the renewable energy infrastructure for industry

The massive financial interest in the Hunter Renewable Energy Zone has shown that regional Australia can become industrial powerhouses again.

Today the NSW Government revealed that more than $100 billion worth of renewable energy generation and storage projects have registered their interest in the Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone. They have the potential to deliver more than 100,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy a year – equivalent to the annual output of about 10 coal fired power stations.

“The Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone could power a Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct worth $11 billion a year,” said Beyond Zero Emissions Hunter Project Manager Sam Mella.

“Our modeling shows that a Hunter Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct would generate $11 billion a year in revenue by 2032, create 34,000 new jobs, and attract $28 billion in capital. The incredible interest in the Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone may make our modelling look conservative now.

“A Hunter Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct will build on the region’s existing mining, energy, and manufacturing expertise, supporting local powerhouses such as Tomago and Orica to a sustainable future while growing future-focused industries such as green steel and aluminium, green hydrogen and chemicals and battery manufacture.

“The Hunter Renewable Energy Zone is a great start, but we also need to fast track the development of the New England and Central West Renewable Energy Zones. The state and federal governments need to work together to support the building of the transmission infrastructure to connect the renewable energy production to industry.

“Newcastle and the Hunter-Central Coast region have a great future if we continue to build on its industrial strengths. It really is a case of back to the future here. Newcastle was built on energy and steel, and we also have a world-leading university and excellent research capability. Newcastle has the infrastructure, the port, the grid to plug in renewables, and a highly trained workforce.

“We can become a major steelmaker again, making it with renewable energy and meeting the increasing international demand for low emission products. Molycop is leading the way, making steel products with 75 per cent less carbon intensity and Infrabuild has its GREENSTEEL plan.

“And we can make so much more. Homegrown heroes Ampcontrol, BME and 3ME Technology are creating and building the next generation of mining and defence electric vehicles. MGA Thermal and Allegro Energy have groundbreaking storage solutions. Local industry networks such as Hunternet support this collaboration culture, bringing together manufacturers and suppliers to enhance the Hunter’s competitive edge. The Hunter is in a great position to thrive.”

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