Australia New Energy Technology Lures China Investors, Hunt Says

  • Nations' `enduring relationship' helping to advance renewables
  • Environment minister reaffirms emissions targets in Shanghai

Chinese businesses are looking to boost investments in renewable and low emissions infrastructure in Australia, which in turn is exporting expertise and technology to its biggest trading partner, Environment Minister Greg Hunt said.

“Australia and China have a strong and enduring relationship that is helping advance renewable energy technologies, emissions reductions and a cleaner environment,” Hunt told the Future of Energy Summit hosted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Shanghai Tuesday.

Hunt pointed to the establishment of a A$120 million ($86 million) fund jointly financed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Shanghai-based Softbank China Venture Capital as an example of the nations’ partnership in seeking cheaper, cleaner energy technology. The fund has so far made six investments totaling A$31 million, he said.

Australian renewable technologies now being deployed in China, its largest trading partner with two-way trade valued at A$142 billion last year, include RayGen Resources Ltd.’s trials with China Three Gorges Corp. The technology uses sun-tracking heliostat mirrors to focus sunlight onto a central receiver, “converting a high proportion of sunlight to power,” Hunt said.

Hunt used the speech to reaffirm Australia’s commitment to meeting its emissions reduction targets. While renewables contribute about 13 percent of Australia’s electricity generation now, that’s set to rise to 23.5 percent 2020, he said.

“We have set ambitious emissions-reduction targets and will be part of the crucial international talks in Paris at the end of the year,” which will be attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Hunt said. “We are playing our part and as we meet our goals, we will aim to do more.”

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