Australia environment and energy industry

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Summary

Australia is one of the few countries in the world fortunate enough to have an abundant supply of virtually all forms of renewable energy. Australia has sunlight for solar,strong wind energy, vast hot non-volcanic geothermal rocks, commercial feedstock and land for bioenergy,and strong wave capacity. It is also a world leader in managing water scarcity and has a wealth of commercial experience in environmental monitoring and remediation. Australia is known for first-class R&D. Renowned scientists work on innovation across the entire range of clean energy technologies, which are underpinned by solid infrastructure capabilities, excellent project management, engineering, design and construction skills.

Bioenergy

Bioenergy is an established industry sector in Australia. Australian companies, communities and governments have demonstrated over the last 100 years the capacity to design, build, operate and maintain projects and to develop technologies. Australia has potentially vast biomass resources, world-class research teams,engineers and entrepreneurs to grow the bioenergy sector both in Australia and off-shore markets.

Across Australia, there are 130 bioenergy electricity generation projects in operation ,another 47 projects proposed and a small number of biofuel producers. The industry uses agriculture related wastes, such as bagasse, energy crops, landfill gas, sewage gas, urban biomass and timber industries related wastes to generate heat, power and transport fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Small to medium sized Australian technology owners and product suppliers are active in export markets,alongside bioenergy project developers and operators, and larger international waste companies with a presence in Australia.

Australia hosts a growing group of experienced companies capable of partnering and supplying bioenergy research,goods and services in international markets.

Carbon capture and storage

Carbon Capture&Storage (CCS) refers to a process chain involving the capture, compression, transport, injection, long-term underground storage and ongoing monitoring of carbon dioxide (co2) that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. Most work in this area is currently focused on reducing CO2 emissions from coalfired power stations,but CCS could also mitigate CO2 emissions form gas-fired power stations,gas processing facilities,cement kilns,steel mills,ammonia plants,oil refineries and petrochemical plants.

Australia is active in CCS reseach,development and demonstration and CCS industry expertise that could provide many export opportunities.These include: Geological mapping and assessment of potential storage sites; Design and installation of injection wells; CCS monitoring and verification technologies; and Provision of CO2 capture and separation technologies

Carbon Markets

Increasing awareness of climate change and environmental problems are leading to a transition to low carbon economies around the world, with the development of systems,servises and technologies all helping to achieve a low carbon goal. Carbon has now been traded for more than a decade in voluntary markets and, since 2003, in compliance markets. world bank figures show that the global carbon market was worth US$64billion in 2007.

Australian carbon services companies have wide ranging industry expertise and offer diverse export capabilities in goods and servies. These include: Carbon management services,sustainable energy consultancy,and carbon footprinting software; Offset providers; Carbon brokening, trading and exchange;Services to provide market intelligence,monitoring,reporting and verification of projects; and Services around the sale,transfer,trading and acquittal of emissions permits.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency-or,using less energy to provide the same outcomes or level of service-is one of the main strategies available to mitigate climate change. It provides major opportunities to curtail overall energy usage,reduces the need for expansion of energy infrastructure, and also facilitates introduction of cleaner electricity generation technologies. Australia is conducting extensive research and development into energy efficiency application in areas including smart grid and distributed energy systems, building technology, and efficient mining and minerals processing.

Australia’s energy efficiency industry is well developed, with many companies operating in the sector. Export opportunities include:smart grid development, energy efficient building products,energy management services,energy auditing and monitoring services, sustainable date services and remote managed services for utilities and commercial buildings.

Environmental services and technology

As one of the driest and most urbanized nations in the world, Australia has long had a focus on promoting sustainability and in managing resources wisely.As a result, Australia has considerable expertise in the area of environmental services&technologies.

This industry has developed as a result of growing concern about environmental problems,the increase in environmental regulation,population growth,and factors that have placed increasing pressure on natual resources.It has also been driven by technological changes which make innovative new ways of tackling environmental challenges a possibility. The challenge associated with finding new ways to increase environmental sustainability has resulted in many significant export opportunities.These include:

Water,wastewater,and waste management,monitoring and treatment

Environmental management,monitoring,reports,auditing and evaluation,and

Environmental planning including-biodiversity and landscaping

Geothermal

Used for generating electricity, geothermal heat can also be used directly in industrial processes such as space henting, horticulture and aquaculture, as well as for generating electricity. Australia has immense potential for geothermal resources and investment in this low emissions energy technology.

In 2009, there were 48 Australian geothermal energy companies,including 19 listed companies, with 391 geothermal tenements covering 362,000 km2. Around $325 million was invested in the geothermal industry between 2000 and 2008, and the forecast for geothermal investment Australia-wide is over A$1.5 billion by 2012.

Australian geothermal companies are currently active international, securing tenements, exploring and reporting geothermal reserves and developing heat and power generation projects.

Green building

Australia stands at the forefront of sustainable building practices, with strong and established international credentials. Sustainable building practices are a cornerstone in efforts to tackle a range of climate change issues-particularly greenhouse gas emissions, energy conservation, water use(and reuse),the sourcing of materials and their use,and recycling. Australian professionals have developed and refined best-practice across a broad range of sustainable, green building products and inclusions. These provide many green building export opportunities,including:

Heating,ventilation and air-conditioning(HVAC)

Insulation-including thermal mass regulation products

Floor.coverings-including carpeting,timber flooring materials

Energy-efficient hot-water systems-including solar and heat-pump systems

Lighting systems

Smart-house tehnology, and Industrial, commercial and residential water-saving and storage systems

Solar

Australia is at the leading edge in the development and production of solar technologies such as organic and concentrating photovoltaic technologies, third generation dye solar cell technology and remote hybrid solar-fossil (diesel or gas) systems for remote and off-grid applications. Aystralia’s residential PV and hot water markets have grown strongly over the past 5 years and, subsequently, expertise has developed in product logistics, installation and service provision, professional services such as finance and governance models.

Australia has a proud history of exporting quality solar hot water systems and collaborating with international partners to commercialize new technologies. Export opportunities continue to abound,in technology research and development, remote area and off-grid systems,and solar water heating.

According to the peak industry association,the Clean Energy Council,Australia’s PV industry is thriving,with 17 major Australian owned companies currently manufacturing and distributing PV products to a domestic and international market. And, at least nine Australian companies continue to manufacture and distribute solar water henting products to the domestic and international markets.

Water

The World Bank estimates that by 2030 the demand for potable water will exceed supply by 40 percent and that economic growth will drive a 45 percent increase in demand for agricultural water and an 87 percent increase in demand for industrial water. Australia can provide the engineering and technology solutions to help bridge these gaps. Australia is recognized as a world leader in the management of water scarcity and has developed unique approaches to water policy,management,distribution and efficiency. Australia also has world class capabilities in R&D, project management,engineering and technology to address water scarcity at an affordable cost. Australia companies are very active in overseas markets with expertise spanning agricultural, industrial and urban water applications.

Wave and tidal

Strong government support and onshore available wave resources have encouraged innovative companies to develop and test wave and tidal power generation and desalination technologies in Australia. Expertise has developed in deploying wave rider buoys and collection and analysis of wave energy data to prioritise demonstration and commercialization sites.

Innovative Australian companies have also patented wave and tidal technologies,are continuing to demonstrate those in Australian conditions,and bid for sites in off-shore markets such as Spain and the UK.

Wind

The Australian Government has initiated the Australian Wind Energy Forecasting System and backed the development and installation of software and systems for the effective forecasting of wind energy generation in Australian electricity networks

The Wind Engry Forecasting System is one of a number of initiatives which have encouraged the development of new capabilities in the wind industry and helped a major expansion of wind generation in Australia.

Australian wind companies are active around the world,sharing engineering, construction,finance,legal and energy market expertise with international partners.

Key areas of capability showcased in this Export Directory include:

Wind energy assessments and forecasting to identify wind resources and potential sites;

Project design and systems,and providing opportunities for value-added services to export markets;

Planning,financing,building and operating sites,and Hybrid wind/diesel systems.

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