ARENA funding to support emissions reduction at industrial facilities

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Image credit: ARENA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced the initial funding round for the $400 million Industrial Transformation Stream to support decarbonisation efforts at existing industrial facilities in regional Australia.

The Industrial Transformation Stream is a component of the Powering the Regions Fund, which the Australian Government finalised in the 2023-24 Federal Budget.

The first round of $150 million ITS funding will be allocated primarily to applications focusing on regional decarbonisation of industrial process heat and off-road transportation.

The program builds on ARENA’s priority in low-emission metals as well as previous work under existing programs to stimulate innovation and assist the industry in reducing emissions.

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ARENA collaborated with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment, and Water to develop guidelines for the ITS Program, which will complement other Powering the Regions Fund programs.

To date, ARENA has funded over 660 projects across the energy, mining, metals refining, and transport sectors, with the ITS aiming to further support Australia’s decarbonisation goals.

The Program will support various projects, including studies, demonstrations, and deployment, focusing on energy efficiency, electrification, renewable energy technologies, and on-site industrial decarbonisation. Opportunities may include fuel switching to renewable fuels, solar thermal systems, zero emission vehicles, energy storage, load flexibility, and critical infrastructure.

Decarbonisation of industry, accounting for 44% of Australian emissions, is crucial for achieving net zero targets by 2030 and 2050. Sectors with high emission abatement opportunities include agriculture, electricity, gas, water, waste, mining, manufacturing, and off-road transport.

“Progress in the industrial sector is vital to achieving our emissions reduction goals and will set Australia up as a renewable energy superpower that will maintain jobs and economic activity in our regions and capitalise on the world’s shift to green products,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said.

Miller stated that ARENA is committed to enhancing its involvement in industrial decarbonisation and supporting the sector’s transition to clean energy.

“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,” he added.

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.”

“We’re ensuring that the regions that have always powered Australia are the same regions that will power us into the future through the global economic transformation to net zero,” Minister Bowen stated.

Applications for the ITS funding will be accepted from 30 November and run until December 2024, or until funds are exhausted or otherwise updated.