The road map is meant to offer a framework for a spate of measures including Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s call last week for new investment in gas fields and gas-fired power, along with $1.9 billion in grants and loans announced on Thursday.
Mr Taylor will announce a new Technology Investment Advisory Council under Commonwealth chief scientist Alan Finkel to guide the plan, with federal investment agencies joining up to coordinate the spending.
“Australia can’t and shouldn’t damage its economy to reduce emissions,” Mr Taylor says in extracts from a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday.
The road map offers no new goal to reduce emissions beyond Mr Morrison’s talk of reaching net zero at some point in the second half of the century, in contrast to Labor’s target of net zero by 2050.
Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek blamed the government for “killing jobs” by having a series of different energy policies over the past seven years.
Ms Plibersek said “everybody understands that both coal and gas will play a role in the future for many decades to come” but that renewables would provide cheaper reliable electricity when combined with batteries.
Ruling out a tax to reduce emissions, Mr Taylor will instead promise to spend $18 billion in taxpayer funds over a decade through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Regulator.
The spending comprises $1.4 billion from ARENA, $13 billion from the CEFC, $2.9 billion from the CER and $1 billion from the CSIRO.
The spending will be one of four “levers” to achieve results, with the other three being regulation, legislation and international collaboration.
The plan for legislation has already split Parliament because Mr Taylor needs to amend the investment rules at the CEFC and ARENA to allow them to offer loans or grants for carbon capture and storage, a deeply contentious technology.
After months of planning, Mr Taylor will outline a road map with five priority technologies: clean hydrogen; electricity from storage; low-carbon steel and aluminium; carbon capture and storage; and soil carbon.
As revealed in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Monday, the plan not only includes “green” hydrogen produced from renewables but also “blue” hydrogen produced from gas and using carbon capture to bury the emissions.
“Backing blue hydrogen shows the Liberals are more committed to supporting the methane mafia than keeping global heating to well below two degrees,” Greens leader Adam Bandt said on Monday.
“Hydrogen forces the government to make a choice: green hydrogen, made using renewables, harnessing Australia’s boundless clean energy reserves, and creating hundreds of thousands of green jobs; or blue hydrogen, to support their donors in the gas industry.”
Mr Taylor will set out “stretch goals” that include getting energy storage costs to less than $100 per megawatt hour, cutting the cost of carbon capture and storage to less than $20 per tonne and storing emissions in “soil carbon” for less than $3 per hectare per year.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimated in April that the cost of battery storage with four-hour duration had fallen to $145 from $167 per megawatt hour, according to Renew Economy.
Mr Taylor’s target of $20 for carbon capture is below industry estimates, although gas company Santos said its Moomba project would bury the emissions for $30 per tonne.
“We will drive that cost down with scale and experience,” said Santos chief Kevin Gallagher.
Labor energy spokesman Mark Butler has backed the case for more spending on carbon capture and storage but the Greens have dismissed it as “pie in the sky” technology.
Gas giant Chevron is using carbon capture and storage at Barrow Island in Western Australia by pumping emissions into the ground, but the Australia Institute estimates it released 10-12 million tonnes of “rogue” carbon dioxide over the three years.
David Crowe is chief political correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.