Zero emissions manufacturing achievable, says think tank

The technology needed for manufacturers to make the transition to renewable-powered electrification is already readily available and could double manufacturing efficiency, according to a report by climate change think tank, Beyond Zero Emissions. The report argues, however, that state policy green light is required to make it accessible to Victorian manufacturers.

“The technology Victorian manufacturers need to move to zero carbon emissions is already here,” Beyond Zero Emissions CEO, Vanessa Petrie, said.

“Tools such as industrial heat pumps, electrical magnetic heating and electric arc heating are already making huge inroads into reducing manufacturing emissions in countries such as Japan, the United States, Sweden and the Netherlands.

“We need the state government to provide the policy framework to make them readily available and price competitive on the domestic market.”

The Electrifying the Manufacturing State report has been welcomed by the manufacturing sector, who say that escalating fossil fuel prices are squeezing the industry and forcing a decline in manufacturing hubs such South Dandenong.

Vonda Fenwick, South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance (SEMMA) CEO, said that the state’s manufacturers are already working to bring down their emissions.

“We are committed to helping manufacturers reduce their emissions, and have been connecting manufacturers with renewables suppliers,” Fenwick said.

“We’ve already seen manufacturers reducing their emissions, as seen in the wide-spread adoption of solar energy systems by Melbourne industry. Victorian manufacturing is dynamic and adaptive. Businesses across the state are adopting renewables and making energy efficiency gains, which brings down power bills and reduces emissions.”

Petrie said that Victoria has the opportunity to become a global manufacturing leader by setting the pace on emissions reduction.

“The global business community is already propelling the shift towards zero-emissions – and the places where the shift is taking place the fastest is in jurisdictions with strong climate policy,” Petrie said.

“Almost half the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) is generated in places where governments have set or proposed a net zero emissions target.”

“Victorian manufacturers need the Premier to show the leadership we know he’s capable of and set an emissions reduction target that help to lower power prices, save jobs and propel the state’s manufacturing sector to new heights.”