Theme IV: Creating industrial and export opportunities

A strong global or national decarbonisation effort poses challenges and opportunities to the extractive and manufacturing industries.

Research in Theme IV unlocks the vast potential for innovation in harnessing renewable energy sources for the entire value chain — from mining through to energy-intensive industrial activities — in the form of solar photovoltaic (PV), wind and concentrated solar thermal technology for high-temperature processes. Targeted research will improve industrial process efficiencies and reductions in emissions intensity through for example limiting fugitive greenhouse gas emissions and using carbon capture and storage (CCS) to capture residual carbon emissions. Research will also focus on increasing the use of renewable energy and carbon capture in the synthesis of transport fuels. Manufacturing and extractive industries include activities that are high in energy intensity, involve chemical processes that emit greenhouse gases, and have fugitive emissions.  If low-carbon solutions can be found for producing energy-intensive goods and for extracting minerals and other geological materials, these industries can maintain a competitive advantage in a net-zero emissions global economy.

Projects are categorised into two groups:

  • The first group comprises research into the hardware of industrial processes and export opportunities. It includes projects on hydrogen synthesis pathways, zero-carbon energy iron ore processing, the opportunities and trade-offs of bio-carbon feedstock for urea production, pathways for oil and gas industry infrastructure in a zero-carbon economy, lower temperature heat and liquid air storage and advanced aluminium smelting.
  • The second group comprises research into mechanisms for bringing industrial innovations to market, plus outward looking packages on export opportunities. Projects include innovation for energy-intensive industries, regional industrial restructuring in a net-zero emissions future, trade, investment and innovation in energy transition, and opportunities for cooperation with South-East Asia on low-carbon technologies.

There is scope in Theme IV for additional projects in existing or new areas of innovation (for example around potential mining opportunities for lithium and rare earths to support batteries and solar PV for transport electrification and for offline and on-grid battery storage solutions). Research is driven by the needs and interests of Australian and German industry. If you are involved in emissions-intensive manufacturing or processing activities and want to remain competitive while helping to drive energy transition, contact us to align our reseach capabilities with your needs, so as to produce commercially-driven and policy-relevant outcomes.


In Progress

South-East Asia is at a road fork of development. Nowhere else in the world are so many coal power plants in the pipeline and on the drawing boards as in Indonesia, and the Philippines. This can provide opportunities for Australian...

In Progress

Innovation ecosystems that support clean energy entrepreneurs are emerging across the world. The opportunity for linking expertise, capabilities, and investment activities across these ecosystems is becoming apparent through innovation intermediaries like accelerators (e.g. Free Electrons). Similarly, Australian companies are taking advantage of these connected ecosystems,...

In Progress

Technological breakthroughs in hydrogen, low cost renewables, and Japan's hydrogen import target, have driven renewed interest in hydrogen's role as an energy carrier and export opportunity. A `hydrogen economy' will address some of the most intractable problems of climate change. Examples include the substitution...

In Progress

Large scale export of renewable energy from Australia is possible in several forms, including electricity via undersea high voltage DC (HVDC) cables, processed materials (notably iron rather than iron oxide) and synthetic fuels (including hydrogen, ammonia and hydrocarbons manufactured using CO 2 from air-capture and...


Energy transition is happening globally and in Australia and Germany. It is occurring in response to rapidly changing technology costs and as countries move to implement policies in line with the Paris Agreement goals. This transition poses policy and technological challenges. If managed well, it...


CORE Partners