ARENA is supporting Australia’s renewable energy transition projects, having approved a record amount of funding in a single year since its inception in 2012.
In the financial year 2022-23, ARENA approved funding of $544.1 million to 60 projects valued at more than $3.5 billion.
The record marks the start of ARENA’s second decade helping to accelerate the renewable energy transition.
Looking ahead, ARENA recently published its Corporate Plan, which included its strategic priorities:
- Optimise the transition to renewable electricity
- Commercialise renewable hydrogen
- Support the transition to low emissions metals
- Decarbonise transport
ARENA’s record performance in 2022-23 was chiefly due to project assessment and approvals for three funding rounds:
- The Large-Scale Battery Storage (LSBS) funding round – $176.4 million in funds to eight projects
- The Ultra Low-Cost Solar Research & Development (ULCS) funding round – $41.5 million in funding to 13 projects
- The HyGATE hydrogen funding round – $50 million in funding to four projects
ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said that the numbers show the importance of ARENA’s role in Australia’s energy transition.
“At ARENA we’re helping to fast-track Australia’s transition to net zero by 2050,” Mr Miller said.
“The fact we’re seeing more funding go out to projects shows that industry is ready and able to tackle this challenge with us.
“Together, we’re getting on with the business of renewables.
“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.”
Several new funding rounds and Federal Budget measures are already underway.
- Community Batteries Round One – $120 million in funding
- The Hydrogen and Iron and Steel Research and Development Funding Rounds – $50 million in funding
- The 2023 Focus Areas of the Driving the Nation Program – $70 million in funding
- The Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Funding Initiative – $30 million in funding
- The Industrial Energy Transformation Studies program – $43 million in funding
- Hydrogen Headstart – $2 billion in funding
ARENA will also deliver the $400 million Powering the Regions Industrial Transformation Stream and has recently opened applications for the $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart Program.
“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,” Mr Miller said.
Established by the Australian Government on 1 July, 2012, ARENA has supported 663 projects with $2.25 billion in grant funding, unlocking a total investment of almost $9.75 billion in Australia’s renewable energy industry.
For more information on ARENA’s funding and to read the 2022-23 Annual Report, visit arena.gov.au/about/publications/annual-report/.
Featured image: Solar researchers from a University of New South Wales project that successfully applied for ARENA funding. Image credit: ARENA.