Hunter Renewable Energy Zone can power green export industry

December 3, 2021

The Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone could provide the foundation to power a $11 billion export industry

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

The Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone could provide the foundation to power a $11 billion export industry, new energy think tank Beyond Zero Emissions said after NSW Treasurer Matt Kean called for expressions of interest.

Beyond Zero Emissions Hunter Project Manager Sam Mella said: “A Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone could start to power a Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct. Our modelling 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 Hunter already has significant power infrastructure to help establish a Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct, but we also need the New England and Central West Renewable Energy Zones to come onboard with transmission.

“The Hunter is facing a major structural change and a Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct will ensure we have a diverse range of industries in our region. The Renewable Energy Zone could power the production of green hydrogen, which can be exported, act as an industrial feedstock and provide grid flexibility.

“A Hunter Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct will build on the region’s existing mining, energy, and manufacturing expertise and support the emergence of future-focused industries such as battery manufacture, green chemicals and green steel and aluminium.

“Providing generation and storage adjacent to the load reduces transmission costs and ultimately electricity costs for industry and the community. Beyond Zero Emissions has been tracking renewable energy projects in development in the Hunter and we know there are already gigawatts of wind, solar and storage projects in the pipeline.

“Newcastle and the Hunter-Central Coast region have a great future if we continue to build on our 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.”

Latest Economy news & events

Latest Economy research

Further resources for Australia’s decarbonisation pathway

View all research >

Join our community.

Subscribe for updates