- Adopt Energy Management System Standard ISO 50001
- Establish National Renewable Energy Information Centres
- Use Low Emissions Carbon Materials (Steel and Aluminium)
- Adapt energy management system standard (ISO 50001)
Greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector make up 28% of total emissions in Australia. Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity was the largest source of greenhouse gases in Australia as of 2020. Climateworks (Research group) has reported that improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and industrial processes and equipment could save 46.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This represents nearly one-third of Australia’s challenge (of cutting 155 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2020). This can help save businesses $1.7 billion and another $2.3 billion across the economy per year.
An Energy management system is basically a framework for implementing technical and management strategies which can consequently help an organization lower greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate energy costs. An energy management system involves creation and implementation of energy policy, setting objectives for efficient energy use, designing action plans to meet these objectives and measure their progress.
ISO 50001 is an international standard developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) technical committee. ISO 50001 can be adapted by any organization in the public or private sector regardless of their geographical locations, size or activity. It is revised every five years to ensure that it is updated with market requirements. ISO 50001 also provides requirements which enable organizations to develop policies for more efficient use of energy, fix targets and objectives to meet these policies, gather data to better understand and make decisions concerning energy use, measure the results obtained, review the effectiveness of the policy, and continually improve energy management.
ISO 50001 is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act approach to achieve continual improvement in energy performance ISO 50001 requires continual improvement which will help industries be at the forefront of energy technology development, keep them on schedule to meet energy efficient objectives and consequently reduce greenhouse gas emission as energy will be used more efficiently. In order to maintain ISO 50001 certifications, organizations will be required to take annual surveillance audits and recertification audit every three years by third party. During the surveillance audits, organisations are required to demonstrate continual improvement.
- Establish National Renewable Energy Information Centres
The 2021 Australian Energy Statistics for electricity generation suggests that 24% of Australia’s electricity came from renewable energy last year, up from 21% in 2019. Australia’s electricity generation is dominated by coal-fired power stations due to their cheap availability and the nature of long-term contracts between coal miners and power plants. South Australia is home to almost 50% of Australia’s installed wind power capacity and 22% is in Victoria. Australia is the continent with the highest average solar radiation per square metre, but solar energy accounts for less than 2% of renewable energy production.
The most common technologies used in households include solar PV, solar thermal systems and heat pumps. I would like to propose awareness-raising program where citizens & residents are educated regarding the importance, benefits, and potential of renewable energy both among the general public and major stakeholders. National information centres on renewable energy should be established in each suburb to enhance easy access of information. These centres need to be widely publicized by government to provide information on renewable energy schemes, financial incentives, and requirements and to provide guidance to consumers, businesses, and the public at large. In order to measure the efficiency of these centres, increase in usage of renewable energy within that suburb can act as an indicator. These reviews can be completed every 6 months to measure its effectiveness within the suburb. The local government should also take the lead by installing solar technology on governmental buildings.
- Use of low emissions carbon materials (Steel and Aluminium)
Every tonne of steel produced in 2018 emitted on average 1.85 tons of carbon dioxide, equating to about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. If we use low emissions steel and aluminium, we could reduce Australia’s cumulative emissions by around 200 Mt CO₂-e to 2040, while increasing economic activity and generating employment. If Australian low emissions steel and aluminium exports can meet a greater share of projected global demand for these metals, we could help to reduce international emissions cumulatively by over 500 Mt CO₂-e over the period to 2040.
From my perspective, the Australian Government can develop a goal-oriented program which targets low emissions technologies such as low emissions aluminium and low emission steel. Strategic funding will be required for these projects. I believe the first stage of this program should include research and development to test the feasibility of using these materials. Green Steel production can be the starting point for this research. There are already companies which are remelting scrap metal to make new steels, replacing coal with hydrogen, introducing oxygen in steel.
I believe Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will be the correct entity to measure this program’s progress as well as lead this program. CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency which uses innovative science and technology to boost Australia’s innovation performance.
- Journeys for Climate Justice
Name – Kanchana Weerakoon (Co-founder & Committee Member)
Organisation Web Page – https://www.journeysforclimatejustice.org.au/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Australian Conservation Foundation
Name – Mara Bun (President)
Organisation Web Page – https://www.acf.org.au/
Email – https://www.acf.org.au/email_us
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Australia Country Manager Riya Shukla