Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)


The Morrison government has set a goal of producing solar electricity at a third of today’s costs under an updated technology plan.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor released the second of the government’s low emissions technology statements at the COP26 summit in Glasgow on Tuesday.

The first such statement was released in September last year.

Mr Taylor, who is attending the conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, said the government had added three elements to the strategy.

Ultra low cost solar – generating electricity at $15 per megawatt-hour – would be added as a priority technology.

The government has also identified the timeframes under which parity with existing technologies would be reached for the six priority technologies.

And thirdly the government will clarify how it will support consumer choice and adoption of technologies like electric vehicles.

“Getting clean energy solutions to cost parity – or better – with existing approaches is the only way to reduce emissions without taxes,” Mr Taylor said.

The addition of ultra low cost solar now means there are six priority technology investment areas, with the others being hydrogen, energy storage, low-carbon materials, carbon capture technologies and soil carbon.

Mr Taylor said these technologies combined would deliver around half of the reductions needed to achieve net zero by 2050.

“Over the next decade, we will invest at least $20 billion investment in low emissions technology, which is expected to unlock at least $80 billion of total private and public investment,” he said.

Other aims in the plan include getting clean hydrogen production under $2/kg, achieving carbon capture and storage at $20/tonne CO2, and reducing the cost of low emissions steel production to under $700/tonne and aluminium to under $2200/tonne.

The hydrogen sector would be boosted through investment in seven industrial hubs and a voluntary zero emissions gas market.

The statement noted that electric vehicles would become price competitive over the next five to 10 years as the world’s big car makers stepped up production to meet rising demand.

The government was supporting the rollout of charging stations and other technologies to support a variety of electric vehicle types.