A new programme has been launched by the Australian government to support feasibility and engineering studies aimed at identifying ways the industrial sector can reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.
The Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Programme will disperse up to AUS$43 million (US$32.2 million) in funding to companies and organisations within the agriculture, mining, manufacturing, gas supply, water supply, waste services and data centre sectors to improve existing mechanisms and come up with new ways to improve energy management and reduce carbon intensity.
Funding of between AUS$100,000 (US$74.900) and AUS$500,000 (US$374,000) will be issued for feasibility studies, $250,000 ando $5 million for engineering studies, with up to AUS$25 million (US$18.7 million) of grant funding being made available as part of the first round.
The Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Programme has been unveiled as part of the 2020/2021 federal budget and the country’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement.
Commenting on the launch of the programme and its importance, Darren Miller, the CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), said: “While we’re at the early stages of helping industry transition to increased use of renewable energy, this programme will allow us to get a better idea of the innovative solutions out there that can help to reduce emissions and deliver transformative change in the sector.
“We’re looking for studies into projects with significant emissions reduction potential, replicability and backed with strong corporate ambition that can provide a pathway to Australia achieving the Government’s low emissions objective. We believe that Australian industry is ready to take the next step in creating ideas and knowledge that will position Australia for a low carbon future.”
ARENA has embarked on a number of consultations with the stakeholders within the industrial and energy sectors in designing the programme and has over the past years provided funding to support the decarbonisation of the heavy industrial sector. ARENA has provided almost AUS$100 million in funding to support energy and emissions reduction initiatives in the industrial sector, including the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity Renewable Energy for Process Heat studies, ERM Power’s Advancing Renewables in the Manufacturing Sector study, ClimateWorks’ Industrial Energy Transformation Initiative, and an emission reduction study in the alumina sector by Alcoa.