The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has launched the first funding round of a $400 million funding programme to support emissions reduction at existing industrial facilities in regional Australia.
The Industrial Transformation Stream (ITS) is part of the Powering the Regions Fund, with ARENA working closely with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
Round 1 will see $150 million of ITS funding be made available primarily for applications focusing on regional decarbonisation of industrial process heat and off-road transportation.
The programme builds on ARENA’s priority in low emissions metals and previous work under existing programmes to drive innovation and support industry to reduce their emissions.
To date, ARENA has supported over 660 projects with over $2.25 billion in funding working across the electricity sector as well as hard to abate sectors such as mining, metals refining and transport.
The programme will support projects ranging from studies to demonstrations and deployment including in energy efficiency, electrification, and any renewable energy technologies that support industrial decarbonisation.
Enabling technologies such as energy storage or load flexibility/demand management and critical infrastructure to support on site industrial decarbonisation will also be considered.
Accounting for around 44 percent of total Australian emissions, the decarbonisation of industry is critical to progressing Australia’s 2030 and 2050 net zero targets.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said: “ARENA is ready to increase its commitment to industrial decarbonisation and provide assistance to help in the clean energy transition for this sector.
“Now is the perfect opportunity for the industrial sector to make a meaningful change to adapt and future proof their businesses as we head towards net zero emissions.”
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said ‘when designing our policies to reduce industrial emissions, it was critical that that we provided support for industries of strategic importance’.
Round 1 of the ITS Focus Areas applications will be accepted from 30th November and run until December 2024, or until funds are exhausted or otherwise updated at ARENA’s discretion.