• To hasten the transition to a net-zero economy, an APPEA report recommended the establishment of NZZs all around Australia.
  • NZZs might contain energy producers, technology for emissions reduction, manufacturing, and industry, and they could account for up to 79% of facilities and 92% of GHG emissions.
  • They may also lower expenses and encourage local investment.

According to research, the establishment of Net Zero Zones (NZZs) across Australia might greatly hasten the transition of the nation to a net-zero economy. These zones may potentially include 79 percent of the 215 facilities and 92 percent of greenhouse gas emissions covered by the Federal Government’s Safeguard Mechanism. They would operate as centers for energy producers, emission reduction technology, manufacturing, and industry.

According to a report titled “A Review of Net Zero Energy & Industrial Zones” by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), nine potential zones have been identified that could be outfitted with shared infrastructure for natural gas, renewable energy, carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technology, and low-carbon hydrogen production.

The Cooper Basin, Perth, the Pilbara, Melbourne-Gippsland, Sydney-Newcastle, Brisbane, the Surat Basin, Central Queensland, and the future Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct near Darwin are all potential places.

According to the paper, NZZs might help carbon dioxide removal technologies like Direct Air Capture and Carbon Storage (DACCS) and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), which are considered as essential for emissions offset, scale up. They may also take use of the infrastructure already in place to increase net zero energy and industrial exports and imports, paving the way for future low-carbon hydrogen exports and perhaps even CO2 imports for long-term storage.

“Net Zero Zones could help Australia accelerate to net zero and seize the economic opportunities of the energy transformation,” APPEA chief executive Samantha McCulloch said. Working together to reach net zero in the quickest and most economical manner for the economy is similar to carpooling in terms of carbon emissions.

The zones “could become magnets for regional investment and provide a framework for different industries to work together to speed up the path to net zero, reduce costs, create and protect jobs in manufacturing, mineral processing and industry, leverage existing infrastructure, provide a focal point for streamlined government approvals, and provide the foundation for net zero energy and industrial exports and imports,” according to the report.

The APPEA will use the findings in the study as a starting point for discussions with regional governments, businesses, and others. The results were made public before the 2023 APPEA Conference & Exhibition, which will be hosted in Adelaide and have as its subject “Lead, Shape, Innovate – Accelerating to Net Zero.”  


By- Mansi Suryawanshi