Export Powerhouse: Australia’s $333 billion opportunity

By 2050, green exports could grow to almost triple the value of existing fossil fuel exports

As the world decarbonises, Australia can either become a green export powerhouse and reindustrialise the nation or miss our chance by not acting today

Research by Beyond Zero Emissions shows Australia can pursue an ambitious ‘Go for Gold’ scenario and secure a significant share of the global market for growth commodities, such as:

  • Green steel
  • Renewable hydrogen
  • Renewable ammonia
  • Green aluminium

These products are set to dominate global economic growth this century and Australia is well positioned to be a leader in these markets.

However, we have to rapidly invest to avoid a ‘valley of death’ in our export profile. If left too late, not only will fossil fuel exports drop off as our major trade partners implement their net zero emissions pledges, other nations will capture early market share of new export industries leaving us with insufficient runway to replace the nation’s lost export income.

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Choosing the path for success

Australia needs a cohesive industry strategy and an ambitious climate target to keep up with our key trading partners. In this report, we have explored three possible futures for Australian exports:

Go for Gold: Strong commitment to a zero-emissions export vision, fast tracking public and private investment into infrastructure, facilities/plants, technologies and upskilling
Slow Starter: No unifying goal, some growth potential but Australia misses out on key market share, resulting in $200 billion less annual revenue than the Go for Gold scenario
Back of the Pack: A continued reliance and focus on fossil fuel exports

Our recommendations

To seize the opportunity for Australia we must take four priority actions:

Recommendation 1

Set a national clean commodity export target of $100 billion by 2035 to provide a strong investment signal

Recommendation 2

Set green export investment as a priority for DFAT, Austrade and Export Finance Australia

Recommendation 3

Establish a Supergrid Deployment Authority with a $20 billion lending facility to strengthen the grid and provide transmission capacity industry needs

Recommendation 4

Launch a national Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct activation plan to establish 14 precincts in the next five years

Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts

Thousands of new jobs for the Hunter and Gladstone

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Repowering Australian manufacturing

Through Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts

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The Million Jobs Plan

Powering jobs and economic growth after the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic

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