Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts to accelerate industrial decarbonisation in Western Australia

March 7, 2024

The decarbonisation of industry is essential if we are to reach net zero. Whilst we can point to obvious sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that we experience everyday such as petrol engines in cars or gas boilers in our homes, the reality is that the industrial production of the products and services we use, but which is often hidden from view, is a far larger source of GHGs than the everyday 'visible' sources.

For example, in WA the 72 industrial facilities covered the federal government's Safeguard Mechanism (because they emit more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per year) had reported covered emissions of 48.2 million tonnes of tCO2e in 2021-22. That's just under half the total of the state's GHG emissions for 2021-22, and excludes the emissions from use of grid electricity by industrial facilities (but does include off grid generation).

Furthermore, industrial production can be very challenging to decarbonise. Industrial plants often operate all day and night to keep the cost of production low - difficult to support from variable sources of renewable electricity such as wind and solar. And they often also require high temperature heat, which isn't always easy to provide cost effectively from electricity alone.

One of the proposed solutions to addressing the challenges in industrial decarbonisation is to locate industrial clusters in areas where abundant, low-cost renewable power is available. One title regularly applied to this co-location of industry is a Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct (REIP).

Over the last 4 months Max van Someren, a Co-founder of the NZN, has been leading a project on behalf of not-for-profit WA+ to explore and test the potential benefits of REIPs in WA. The example REIP location being studied is Oakajee, just north of Geraldton.

The team have developed a model to demonstrate what emissions and economic benefits a REIP may deliver. Workshops have been held with key stakeholders from government and industry to gather their expert input into what a successful REIP could be. The goal is to identify what will make a REIP successful in our state, so that industry and government can work together to identify how we can make this happen as quickly as possible.


The work is due to complete in April 2024. More updates on the outcomes from the work will be published very soon. If you'd like to learn more about this project, feel free to email max@netzeronetwork.org.


Getting to net zero together.

Perth, Western Australia

Getting to net zero together.

Perth, Western Australia

Getting to net zero together.

Perth, Western Australia

Getting to net zero together.

Perth, Western Australia