BZE applauds sovereign solar capability

March 28, 2024

Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) warmly welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement of $1 billion to support the manufacturing of solar supply chains.

BZE CEO Heidi Lee said the independent think tank had been calling for government investment in Australian manufacturing capability, having highlighted through its research Australia’s natural advantages in terms of materials, a skilled mining industry, regional workforce and more.

“Australia has a huge opportunity to be a big part of the solar panel supply chain, rather than being completely reliant on other countries to build the parts we need for our energy shift,” Ms Lee said.

“Obviously China makes the lion’s share of the solar panels which go onto Australian rooftops, and we can instead manufacture these parts and panels in regions such as the Hunter, the Latrobe Valley, Illawarra and Central Queensland. These are all regions BZE has suggested can host renewables-powered industrial and manufacturing zones.

“The energy shift is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build high paid careers in regional Australia.

“Let’s not sit on the sidelines while other countries cash in on the energy shift. Australia can capitalise on our critical minerals by manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines with recyclable blades, batteries, heat pumps and parts for electric vehicles.

“We’re not starting from zero in terms of manufacturing in Australia - we already have Australian companies doing bits and pieces, and we can scale this up and coordinate so we’re making the most of our natural advantages.

BZE is calling for a suite of measures, including investment national coordination, production credits and equity funding in strategic clean technologies to catalyse onshore manufacturing in the May Federal Budget.

BZE is an independent think tank that provides solutions that accelerate Australia towards a prosperous and zero-emissions future.

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