ABIE France Lunchtime Briefing – Understanding Australia’s Low Emissions Technology Journey: An Update on Goals and Actions – 23 September 2021

ABIE France’s first in-person event since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, held at the Australian Embassy on Thursday 23 September, centred on the importance of hydrogen in Australia’s low emission technology reach.

The members and guests were welcomed by Deputy Head of Mission and Australian Ambassador to UNESCO, Megan Anderson, who warmly thanked ABIE France for its contribution to economic relations between France and Australia. “ABIE France has a long and strong history, and what has struck me is how broad this group is representing so many businesses”.

She pointed out that French companies were already at the forefront of the creation of the hydrogen industry in Australia, with Engie receiving a grant of up to $42.5million to work in partnership with Yara Pilbara Fertilisers on an electrolyser project. Neoen, she said, was developing a hydrogen superhub in South Australia.

The event, organised in association with the Australian Embassy as part of the Australia now 2021-22 season, and sponsored by Calinaud David Avocats, brought together Paris-based Kris McCoy, European counsellor for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and Permanent Delegation to the OECD and Sarah Brown, European counsellor for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, based in Brussels.

The two counsellors outlined the priorities of the Australian Government’s $20 billion investment strategy to 2030 in low emissions technologies, which is focused on clean hydrogen, energy storage, low carbon materials (steel and aluminium), carbon capture and storage and soil carbon.

To date, the Government has invested $1.2 billion to support the hydrogen sector, with the aim of bringing the production cost of clean hydrogen to $2 per kilogram (“H2 under 2”).

Two searchlight projects are the collaboration between Australia and Japan, for the transportation of liquified hydrogen from the Latrobe Valley to Kobe, and Victoria’s Raygen Solar Power Plant that is pioneering technology to boost low-cost energy storage.

The discussion was followed by a lunch, when members were able to catch up on more personal news and discuss the ABIE France Rentrée Dinner which will be held on Monday, 11 October at Les Salons de l’Aéro-Club in Paris.

In his closing remarks, ABIE France President, Bernard Tabary, thanked the speakers for their very informative presentations and the Australian Embassy in Paris for hosting the event.