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Climb towards a local clean energy supply chain begins at Canberra summit

On Wednesday 30 November 2022, the Clean Energy Council hosted the Australian Clean Energy Supply Chain Summit in Canberra to start a discussion about the prospect of developing local supply chains for clean energy components in Australia and the enormous opportunities that this presents for workers, the economy and the clean energy transition.

The summit featured a host of senior government figures and industry stakeholders – including Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Senator the Hon Jenny McAllister, former Australian Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, Australian Renewable Energy Agency CEO Darren Miller, Clean Energy Finance Corporation CEO Ian Learmonth, and Danish Ambassador Pernille Kardel

With topics ranging from the risks of global supply chains, maximising opportunities for Australia and creating an ethical and resilient supply chain, the summit explored the enormous opportunities and challenges associated with establishing a homegrown supply chain for the clean energy industry.

Speaking at the event, Senator the Hon Jenny McAllister said: “The collaboration on show between industry, government, workers and science at the Australian Clean Energy Supply Chain Summit is exactly what is needed to bring clean energy into our system and to help the rest of the world do the same.”

Supply chain summit 1
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Senator the Hon Jenny McAllister and former Australian Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel

By establishing its own supply chains, Australia can create sustainable and high-value jobs, maximise regional development and leverage existing local capability.

Michael Frangos from Indigenous Energy Australia supported this contention.

“Today is an opportunity for the renewable energy sector to offer the chance for Indigenous Australians to engage in conversation about the supply chain and skills shortage within industry, but more importantly in closing the gap.”

“In the past, there has been a lack of invitation for Indigenous Australians to be involved and doors are not always opened. With the Clean Energy Council hosting the Australian Clean Energy Supply Chain Summit today, it goes a long way in opening doors and starting the conversation for further involvement and collaboration.”

Supply chain summit 2
Michael Frangos from Indigenous Energy Australia

The summit found that while creating vibrant local supply chains will come with its fair share of challenges, it will be possible with a clear strategy, collaboration and coordination, and targeted government support.

The summit also determined that the potential benefits are enormous and will provide Australia with significant economic growth while protecting us from global shocks such as COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and modern slavery.

Developing a strategy for a clean energy supply chain now, and investing in our people and industry, will put Australia on the path to becoming the global clean energy superpower that our substantial renewable energy assets and ingenuity dictate that we should be.