Australia’s renewable energy sector receives record funding

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
3 Min Read

The Australian Government is investing more funds into the renewable energy sector than ever before, according to recently released financial data.

Data provided to Build-it by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) showed more than half a billion dollars of funding approval in the 2022-23 financial year, helping to kick-start 60 renewable energy projects nationwide.

Once complete, the projects will add a combined value of $3.5 billion to Australia’s renewable energy sector, which is crucial to the nation’s net-zero by 2050 carbon emission targets.

The record funding was shared among various climate-friendly projects, including large-scale battery storage, low-cost solar development and hydrogen technology.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the higher investment numbers highlighted the government’s commitment to assisting the energy sector in making the required transitions to reach our carbon-neutral goals.

“The fact we’re seeing more funding go out to projects highlights the fact that industry is ready and able to tackle this challenge with us,” Mr Miller said.

“With these 60 approved projects alone, we’re looking at a total project cost of over $3.5 billion – a significant scale-up from previous years and a positive sign of commitment from the sector.”

Mr Miller says the additional funding would give businesses the confidence to pursue renewable energy technologies and launch new renewable projects.

“ARENA’s expertise, deep understanding of the renewable energy sector and willingness to fund innovative and ground-breaking projects means the Agency can provide a pathway to commercialisation for many new technologies and businesses that would otherwise struggle to get off the ground or be potentially lost to overseas markets.”

Record funding will continue

The added investment has continued into the 2023 financial year, with ARENA also giving the green light to new funding and budget measures regarding community battery programs, sustainable aviation fuel initiatives, industrial energy transformation studies and hydrogen, iron and steel research development.

There will also be $400 million provided to the Powering the Regions Fund, which will support Australia’s rural areas’ transition into a decarbonised economy by reducing emissions in existing industries and fostering the development of new climate-friendly ones.

Meanwhile, introducing the Hydrogen Headstart Program will provide revenue support for large-scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts.

Mr Miller predicted the 2023-24 funding would break renewable energy spending records again.

“These programs build on ARENA’s existing work within industrial decarbonisation and hydrogen and our track record shows what we’re capable of in terms of delivering transformative projects in the energy transition,” Mr Miller said.

“Coupled with a strong existing project pipeline under ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program, we anticipate a continued elevated level of funding activity in the coming years.”

For more information on ARENA’s funding and to read the 2022-23 Annual Report, visit their website. 

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.

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