NERA will wind up as Australia’s energy resources Industry Growth Centre in July at the end of the current Federal funding cycle and is working with stakeholders to frame up a national coordinating body for Australia’s offshore wind sector.
Set up in 2016 as part of the Federal Industry Growth Centres Initiative, NERA has established a network of more than 5,400 organisations across the energy resources sector and has collaborated widely to accelerate decarbonisation and maximise growth of new energy, smart technologies and jobs.
CEO Miranda Taylor said that in its lifetime, NERA has delivered genuine impact to Australia’s energy sector and the wider economy, driving crucial collaborations, research, projects, programs and initiatives that leverage low emissions and digital technologies to support Australia's energy transformation while also growing innovative SMEs and supply chains.
“Over the past seven years, NERA has established itself as a trusted collaboration partner to industry, technology developers, CRCs, research organisations, regulators and policy makers at both the State and Federal levels,” she said.
“NERA has been one of the drivers behind the growth of the hydrogen, subsea, ocean energy and decommissioning clusters and centres, and has played a pivotal role in establishing the Future Energy Exports CRC and facilitating the work program of the WA Government’s LNG Jobs Taskforce.
“Most recently, NERA worked with industry partners to establish the Centre of Decommissioning Australia (CODA), Australia’s first dedicated centre to drive excellence in offshore infrastructure re-use and decommissioning, which is now its own standalone entity.
“NERA also formed Hydrogen Technology Cluster Australia (H2TCA), Australia’s first national hydrogen cluster network to accelerate the development of Australia’s hydrogen supply chain, and is engaging with the Australian Hydrogen Council to identify a pathway to transition this critical national leadership role and build on the momentum to assist in growing Australia’s hydrogen equipment, technology and services (HETS) industry.”
Ms Taylor said some of NERA’s other key achievements include establishing supply chain and business opportunity development programs such as LETs Pitch and GeneratER, which have assisted SMEs to showcase their technologies, accelerate commercialisation and retain their IP, and connect with domestic and international end users.
NERA’s $15.6 million project fund catalysed $45 million of total investment across 60 projects with more than 700 partners to commercialise world-first technology and tackle major sector challenges.
As NERA winds up its existing activities, Ms Taylor said it is developing a model in consultation with governments, industry and other key stakeholders to form a coordinating body for the offshore wind sector.
“Australia must deploy renewable energy at an unprecedented rate to reach net zero by 2050, and offshore wind will play a key role in the renewable energy mix required to achieve this target,” she said.
“Australia has existing strengths to establish a safe, sustainable and globally competitive offshore wind industry, but coordinated action will be vital to attract investment, address the many regulatory barriers, build a skilled Australian workforce, maximise local manufacturing and realise the full potential of the sector.
“NERA intends to use its knowledge and skill set to help Australia establish a coordinating body to facilitate joint action between governments, industry, regulators and the scientific community.”