The Sydney Energy Forum

On the 12th and 13th of July 2022, the Australian Government and the International Energy Agency (IEA), with the support of the Business Council of Australia, co-hosted the Sydney Energy Forum.

The forum’s aim was to secure clean energy supply chains for the Indo-Pacific, bringing together the private sector and governments to overcome challenges in the region’s supply chains for clean technologies. Energy security was a feature of the forum, with Albanese positioning Australia as a “trusted global partner” on climate and clean energy.

The forum includes the participation of ministers from six foreign countries: India, Indonesia, Germany, Japan, the United States and Samoa.

Speakers included the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, Executive Director of the IEA, Dr Fatih Birol, Dr Alan Finkel, Dr Andrew Forrest, US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, Deputy Director-General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Gabri Singh, India’s Minister of Power and Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh, and Chief Executive of Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott.

Major announcements made at the forum:

  • Signing of the Australia – United States Net-Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership
  • Australia joining the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP)
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Commonwealth Scientific, Research, and Industry Organisation (CSIRO) and the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Australia’s Arafura Resources and major US company General Electric (GE).

Net-Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership

On 12 July 2022, Australian Minster for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, and US Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, signed the US-Australia Net Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership.

The partnership aims to accelerate the development and deployment of zero emissions technology and formalise cooperation between Australia and the United States on the supply chains of critical minerals.

Secretary Granholm has said that the partnership unlocks “critical advances in long-duration storage, grid integration, clean hydrogen, direct air capture, and critical minerals and materials”.

Cooperation under the agreement will initially include the development of long duration energy storage technology, digital electricity grids and technology to support renewable energy integration, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide removal.

Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) 

On 12 July 2022, Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, the Hon Madeleine King, announced that Australia has joined the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP).

The MSP was established on 14 June 2022, led by the United States. The partnership also includes Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the European Commission.

The MSP seeks to develop and secure global supply chains for critical minerals including nickel, lithium and cobalt, which are crucial for the transition to clean energy, supporting projects that adhere to the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

Minister Farrell has said that the partnership will “help embed Australia in international critical mineral supply chains and technologies crucial to the global economy”.

CSIRO and NREL Memorandum of Understanding

Also on Tuesday 12 July 2022, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Signed by CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall and NREL Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer Dr Peter Green, the MoU is a shared commitment to work together to help drive scientific and technical innovation across nationwide energy systems.

The agreement 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.

Arafura Resources and General Electric Memorandum of Understanding

Announced at the Sydney Energy Forum, Australia’s Arafura Resources and major US company General Electric signed a MoU to jointly co-operate in the establishment of a sustainable supply chain for NdPr.

Neodymium and Praseodymium (NdPr) is a rare earth critical to the manufacture of high-performance magnets. NdPr magnets are a key component of wind turbines and electric vehicles.

The non-binding MoU signed on Tuesday is an agreement to enter negotiations on a long-term sales agreement for GE to purchase NdPr from Arafura’s Nolans project in Central Australia. If successful, the NdPr will be used in magnets for GE’s offshore wind turbines.

The signing was attended by Minister Farrell, Minister King and Secretary Granholm.

Further Information

For more information, please contact your Hawker Britton consultant Emma Ramage on +61 430 811 929, or Simon Banks on +61 419 648 587.

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