Up to $2.9 billion of US investment could soon drive Australia’s burgeoning clean energy industries, in a new agreement between Australia’s Energy Minister, Chris Bowen, and US Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerr.

The Letter of Intent, titled the Clean Energy Demand Initiative (CEDI), will aim to encourage cost-competitive and efficient markets, while also implementing credible and transparent systems for investors.

US companies including Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Google, and Amazon have signalled up to $2.9 billion in potential investment for Australia’s clean energy generation infrastructure.

Mr Bowen inked the CEDI with Mr Kerr during a five-day trip to the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in the American city of Pittsburgh, during which Australia committed to cooperating on solar manufacturing supply chains.

The agreement is a step towards closer ties between Australia and the US on climate action according to Mr Bowen.

“By setting up a favourable market environment for investment, we are signalling to US companies that we welcome international partners to support our clean energy future,” he said.

“It is another milestone for our relationship with the US after we signed the Australia – United States Net Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership in July.

“The Initiative also sends a signal to the world that Australia is open for business as a reliable investment as the world heads towards net zero emissions by 2050.”

The US Department of State (DOS) praised Australian utilities and climate policies, in a statement made following the agreement.

“The experience and expertise of Australia’s regulators, utilities, and private sector, and the Australian government’s active engagement on regional energy security, will be valuable additions to CEDI’s efforts around the world,” a DOS spokesperson said.

“Australia’s policy actions – including large-scale generation credits, corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs), and renewable retail contracts – may serve as a model for other countries working to expand corporate procurement of renewable energy.

“Today, Australia and corporate partners have clearly signalled their support for key principles to enable corporate renewable procurement, lending considerable weight to the ongoing effort to ramp up clean energy deployment and accelerate the energy transition in support of global climate goals.”

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