U.S. and Australia Collaborate To Accelerate Zero-Emission Technology

July 19, 2022 | By Kassidy Gamble | Contact media relations

Photo of four people standing and sitting at a desk while two sign a paper
CSIRO's Bronwyn Fox and NREL's Peter Green are flanked by Australian Energy Minister Chris Bowen and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm (left to right) during a partnership signing at the Sydney Energy Forum. Photo from CSIRO

On July 11, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen signed the Australia–United States Net-Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership at the Sydney Energy Forum.

The partnership will accelerate the development and deployment of zero-emissions technology, including long-duration energy storage, integration of renewable energy into power grids, and removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Cooperation through this partnership will help expand and diversify supply chains to deploy clean energy across the world.

It coincided with another announcement that Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The agreement was also signed at the Sydney Energy Forum by CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall and NREL Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer Peter Green. As a leader in clean energy research, development, and deployment, NREL will collaborate with CSIRO to develop clean energy technologies.

“We are excited about this MoU, which will facilitate expanded collaboration between our two research institutions,” Green said. “Together we will leverage the significant intellectual, research, and infrastructure capabilities of both institutions to address some of the most pressing challenges associated with achieving the global energy transition. Under the agreement, CSIRO and NREL will initially focus on four areas of strategic importance to Australia: hydrogen, global power system transformation (G-PST), plastics, and an accelerator/incubator program for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that has the potential to transform our global energy future.”

Photo of two men shaking hands
CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall and NREL Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer Peter Green shake hands after signing a memorandum of understanding to further collaboration between their two research institutions. Photo from CSIRO

During a global energy crisis, international cooperation is essential. The Australia–U.S. partnership is an important step toward reducing emissions across the two countries while growing their economies and jobs. With current threats to global energy markets and energy security, Granholm argued that renewable energy is our path to peace.

As Australia and the United States come together, it reinforces the U.S. government’s commitment to making climate change a centerpiece of the alliance and making U.S. electricity 100% renewable by 2035. The partnership will help to decarbonize our economies as we share capabilities, technologies, and advances that could not be acquired or developed individually.

Research institutions and private sector entities will drive investment as the two countries develop commercial opportunities in low- and zero-emissions technologies. To reach net zero by 2050, more diversified sources of critical materials and collaboration to strengthen supply chains will be integral.