There are huge opportunities for Australia to leverage its natural advantage in solar and wind resources. Photosynthesis and direct solar-heat processing could allow Australia to be a leading global supplier of next-generation biofuels.
While export of electricity is difficult, there may be significant opportunities to export embodied electricity. Globally, the aluminium industry is moving towards countries with low-carbon sources of power, to hedge themselves against future carbon pricing policies. Australia’s abundant solar and wind could be a huge economic advantage in a carbon-constrained world by providing cheap renewable electricity for metals and minerals processing.
Japan currently has a population of 130 million and yet is only half the size of NSW. Land constrained countries like Japan and South Korea are already moving away from Australian coal imports in their efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions but they could become a market for our zero carbon energy exports in the future.