The region’s peak body for business, Business Hunter has welcomed the announcement by Tomago Aluminium on its goal to transition to renewable operations by 2029.
Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes acknowledged that the move signalled a genuine readiness and appetite in the region to meet Australia’s energy sector transitions and climate change challenges.
“Tomago’s announcement shows that big industry is open to an energy transition and a de-carbonised future. They are to be applauded for their willingness to adapt and show leadership,” Mr Hawes said.
“At this time however, there remains a critical gap in terms of how this will be achieved and businesses like Tomago Aluminium and our region will be relying on the investment response on a major scale into renewable energy generation.
“In order to make a renewable switch viable for uptake by our region’s biggest energy consumers, we need to continue to talk with government, investors and energy market operators about ways to build capacity by leveraging advancement in renewable technologies.
“There is already a lot going on in the region by our manufacturers and industry in terms of energy efficiency and switching to new forms of generation takes things to another level.
“We need grand scale investment in the types of reliable renewable options that can carry the relatively unique industrial load we have in the Hunter and keep the lights on and the wheels turning,” Mr Hawes said.
Business Hunter has noted that the policy shifts by both levels of government over the past decade seemed to be settling down. Mr Hawes hopes that respective strategies including the NSW Government’s Energy Roadmap start to provide certainty and assurance that investors and energy generators are looking for.
“Investing in capacity-building technology that is also renewable technology is the real sweet spot we need to get to as a region and there is plenty going on to achieve this,” he said.
“Business Hunter looks forward to the Hunter region witnessing business and industry working as well as energy users making the map an actual journey.”