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Australia to spend $1.4 billion on nascent renewable energy projects

16 Sep 2020 / 20:32 H.

    By Colin Packham

    SYDNEY, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Australia will invest A$1.9 billion ($1.39 billion) over the next 10 years in nascent renewable energy technology, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday, as Canberra accelerates spending in a bid to revive its ailing economy.

    Australia slipped into its first recession in nearly three decades, while effective unemployment is expected to top 13%.

    Ahead of its annual budget to be delivered in early October, Morrison said it will include an allocation of A$1.9 billion for its technology investment agencies to spend on technologies such as clean hydrogen.

    "The government will now focus its efforts on the next challenge: unlocking new technologies across the economy to help drive down costs, create jobs, improve reliability and reduce emissions," Morrison said in an emailed statement.

    "This will support our traditional industries – manufacturing, agriculture, transport – while positioning our economy for the future."

    Australia is one of the world's largest carbon emitters per capita due to its reliance on coal-fired power.

    While Morrison is a strong supporter of coal, he said this week that gas would be central to supporting a recovery in manufacturing.

    ($1 = 1.3633 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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