Energy and Resources Talking Points | 03/08/2018

In today’s talking points: Japan’s hydrogen future may be fuelled by Australian renewables; Resources continue to drive Australian exports; New Minerals Council boss vows technology-neutral energy policy; Australian trade surplus swells as China sucks up resources

Japan’s hydrogen future may be fuelled by Australian renewables

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has said renewable energy could drive Australia’s next resource boom as the worldwide demand for hydrogen surges. Australia has been a key player in gas and coal export for years, however as the efficiency and accessibility of renewable energies increase, as does Australia’s research and investment into alternative wind and solar energy sources, for example. ARENA vehemently supports the development of an Australian hydrogen industry to accelerate innovation in the creation, transportation and transformation of hydrogen into energy at the point of use.“Today Australia exports approximately three quarters of the energy it produces, in the form of coal and gas. As demand for these resources cools over coming decades, we want our renewables industry to be ready to provide the energy to supply the world’s future needs.”
 ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said.

Read More: Gas World

Resources continue to drive Australian exports

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has produced new data which shows that the economy is still being driven by the resources industry. According to their data, Australian goods and services exports exceeded $400billion for the first time ever in 2017/2018, with resources amounting up to the majority – 55% – of all exports. Gold exports have also reached the highest value in Australia’s history, amounting up to $20.1 billion in 2017/2018. CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia, Tania Constable, said that “the minerals industry and mining equipment, technology and services sector continue to provide high-paying jobs for more than one-million Australians, particularly in those regional areas.”

Read More: Mining Weekly

New Minerals Council boss vows technology-neutral energy policy 

In a move which signals the end the previous pro-coal agenda, the new Mineral Councils chief, Tania Constable, has vowed to adopt a “technology-neutral” approach to climate and energy.  Ms. Constable also highlighted that her top priorities included project approval processes and cuts to corporate tax rates. Her appointment comes after her predecessor was ousted over BHP and Rio Tinto’s concerns for his campaign in favour of a high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) coal fired station to be built in Australia. Leading into the future, a number of challenges are present for Ms. Constable, including determining a sound mix of energy sources and faction fighting.

Read More: The Australian Financial Review  

Australian trade surplus swells as China sucks up resources  

A report on Thursday from the ABS has indicated that Australia’s trade surplus in June has exceeded expectations, swelling 158% to A$1.87 billion, which doubled the market forecast and is the largest since May last year. Much of this can be attributed to China, where exports have boomed to their second-highest levels ever. The eagerness to import Australian coal and iron ore, despite the escalating trade tensions, indicates that China is weathering the early stages of the tariff hostilities quite well. Additionally, liquefied natural gas sales to both China and Japan represented a large area of growth, with export earnings up 14% in June at a tick over $4 billion.

Read More: Reuters