Significant potential in regional Australia, shifting markets and collaboration across government and industry will pave the way for large-scale projects.

On 28 September, ClimateWorks Australia and Beyond Zero Emissions co-hosted an investor roundtable to explore the opportunities for boosting Australia’s existing and new industries by establishing a national program for Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts (REIPs).

Prominent leaders representing Australia’s largest fund managers, banks and institutional investment community, collectively responsible for $2.7 trillion in assets under management, attended the event, as did representatives from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The discussion covered how capital markets are already shifting towards low-carbon investments and that leading organisations are actively responding to a changing energy landscape. This shift could lay the foundations for building regional precincts large enough to power heavy industry with renewable energy.

Organisations in attendance

Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI)

ANZ

AWARE Super

Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE)

Blackrock Australia

Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)

CBA

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)

ClimateWorks Australia

Grok Ventures

Infrastructure Access Managers

Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC)

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA)

Main Sequence Ventures

Pollination

REST

The Next Economy

Uni Super

Key takeaways from the event include:

  • There is significant investment potential in regional Australia, outside capital cities, and investors need to collectively articulate the amount of capital that can be invested into our manufacturing and agricultural bases.
  • REIPs offer solutions to both the supply and demand sides of the energy equation. Investors identified three investable precinct components where finance can play a key role: renewable energy supply, the common infrastructure and the companies that are the end-users. New investments should focus on innovative de-risking financial tools to help pave the way and unlock investment at scale.
  • Globally, transition funds are being established to provide capital for businesses to decarbonise and adopt new technologies. There are policy opportunities to make these funds more attractive for use in the Australian market.
  • Governments, at all levels, have a role to play in enabling greater investment into low-carbon industries. Bipartisanship needs to be secured for long-term policy goals. These investments have long time horizons and become high risk without the security of bipartisan government support.

Collaboration and coordination efforts are key to decarbonising our industries, and investor insights are a critical input.

ClimateWorks Australia and Beyond Zero Emissions would like to thank all participants for their candid and insightful comments and look forward to continuing discussions to explore the investable components of Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts.