The experts agree: Australia can become a renewable energy export superpower.
We’ve got the sun, the wind, the water, and an abundance of critical metals and minerals needed to power Australia. We’ve also got world-class manufacturing industries, serious expertise, and the international trading relationships we need to sell our leftover energy to the world.
So how exactly will this happen?
We’ll produce renewable hydrogen, which we can export to other countries as ammonia. Undersea cables will deliver electricity to some of our closest neighbours, starting with Singapore. Then we’ll manufacture solar powered products from green materials and produce components for clean technologies using our Australian smarts and expert software and services, including in mining support, ICT and engineering, to manage them.
From the manufacture and distribution of clean energy products to teaching people how to operate them using systems designed by Australians, we’ll have it covered.
We know all this and more is possible. Because clean energy exports aren’t just the future… they’re already here.
Meet the Australians whose businesses are already embodying our renewable superpower opportunity.
Ilan Sebban, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Anávo
Ilan is a recruitment consultant and team leader for Anávo, a boutique recruitment agency that specialises in finding talent for renewable energy companies.
“Our mission is to instigate positive change by creating a bridge between businesses and talent across the country,” says Ilan.
“By doing this, we’re empowering people to drive the decarbonisation this planet desperately needs.”
Helping to bolster the renewables sector has been big business for Anávo, with offices now in Europe, Africa, the US, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Ilan says he’s seen a lot of people and organisations transitioning to renewable practices as they don’t want to be left behind.
“We’ve seen a shift from big cities to more remote areas as renewables are creating a lot of jobs in the regions.
“Very recently we’ve had more and more people coming to us from a gas background who have a strong interest in switching to renewables. They know the fossil fuel industry won’t be sustainable in the long run.”
Kristy Battista, Chief Technology Officer at Allume Energy
Allume Energy is also working to decarbonise the country, this time through tech, with a particular focus on making renewable energy accessible to all.
"Our vision is a world where everyone can access clean and affordable energy from the sun,” says Kristy, Allume’s Chief Technology Officer.
Allume was originally founded to make solar power accessible to social housing residents and now we’re at the forefront of the renewable energy transition.”
The SolShare, invented by Allume, is the world’s only hardware designed for sharing rooftop solar between apartments, meaning those who don’t live in their own detached home can still access solar power and save money on electricity.
And that’s not just great for apartment and social housing residents, but also good for the country and our export industry.
“Allume is at an exciting stage where our international expansion is accelerating, especially in the UK and US where there are a lot of new and existing apartments that can benefit from this technology,” says Kristy.
And those benefits can be felt in Australia too.
“We’re headquartered in Melbourne. We design the product here, we make it here and now we sell it both in Australia and overseas.”
Attilio Pigneri, Founder and CEO at H2U
Another company that’s making change and creating jobs from renewable resources is H2U, a specialist developer of green hydrogen infrastructure projects.
Renewable hydrogen is hydrogen that has been extracted from water by using clean energy sources such as solar or wind power, rather than fossil fuels, to power the process. This hydrogen can then be sold as is or converted into ammonia, a chemical vital for many industries.
Attilio is the founder and CEO of H2U and he says the future of non-renewable hydrogen is short-lived.
“The green hydrogen sector is booming,” says Attilio.
“COP26 has happened around decarbonisation and really addressing climate change through mitigation. There is, by and large, an overarching need and urgency to act.”
For Attilio, the transition to renewable energy exports is a no-brainer.
“We’ve got the land, we’ve got the wind, we’ve got the sun. And there’s an opportunity for exporting our skills as well as exporting [hydrogen] molecules.”
“I think we need to be really smart in allowing this investment opportunity because our customers are trying to bring these renewable products into our markets and they’re willing to invest in Australia.”
A brighter future for people AND the planet
So, switching away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy exports makes sense from a business perspective. But what about from a personal one?
For Ilan and Attilio it’s about looking forward.
“For me, it’s the satisfaction of being able to contribute to a better future for the next generation and to leave the planet a better place,” says Ilan.
“I get a lot of enjoyment out of being able to work with young engineers and giving them an opportunity to be in charge of managing a project or supporting the design of products,” Attilio says.
For Kristy, it’s more about helping people who need it now.
“What we're excited about is that as our expansion grows and our manufacturing volume increases, the affordability of the solution will unlock this technology for a greater amount of people,” she says.
“We’ve got some really beautiful feedback about social housing residents who were able to turn on their heating because of the money they had saved by having access to rooftop solar.
“That’s the kind of reason why we founded Allume.”
Head to wwf.org.au/renew for more information on how Australia can become a renewable energy export superpower and the benefits it can bring for our economy and our people.