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Environment and Sustainability

ARENA expands reforms to support next gen technologies

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ARENA expands reforms to support next gen technologies

The Australian Parliament has endorsed the reforms made to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) that will help support the next generation of low emissions technologies. 

After defeating a motion of disallowance on abandoning clean tech and blue-collar jobs, the reforms allow ARENA to support a broader range of technologies that will advance the priorities of the Technology Investment Roadmap.  

These reforms will bring about a portfolio of technologies to commercial parity that will reduce emissions across every sector without destroying jobs or imposing taxes or new costs on households, businesses and industry.  

To achieve this, the Australian Government plans to invest $20 billion in new energy technologies by 2030. This will drive at least $80 billion of total public and private investment that will support at least 160,000 new jobs.  

ARENA will now play a major role in driving investments in the next generation of technologies. This includes energy efficiency, carbon capture technologies, CCUS and negative emissions technologies, blue hydrogen, energy storage technologies to back up renewable energy and soil carbon.  

The regulatory change also allows ARENA to implement $192.5 million of programs in the 2020-21 Budget, including:  

  • $67.9 million to support heavy vehicle fuel efficiency and industrial energy efficiency  
  • $71.9 million to support hydrogen and electric vehicle infrastructure as part of the Government’s Future Fuels Fund  
  • $52.6 million to support microgrids for regional Australia  

These programs are estimated to create 1,400 direct and indirect jobs, support more affordable and reliable power in regional Australia, provide new transport infrastructure and increase the competitiveness of energy-intensive industries.  

Expanding ARENA’s ability to unlock transformative low emissions technologies that businesses need was a recommendation of the King Review. The Technology Investment Roadmap and Low Emissions Technology Statements is currently pushing for the production and implementation of these technologies across sectors. 

Since 2012, ARENA has supported 586 projects with $1.7 billion in grant funding, unlocking $6.92 billion of total investment in renewable energy. ARENA was also provided with $1.6 billion in new funding through the 2020-21 Budget to play a new and expanded role in supporting the five priority technologies under the Technology Investment Roadmap. 

SOURCE: DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES MEDIA RELEASE

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