ARENA announces funding to cut emissions in Qld manufacturing

CSIRO manufacturing
Image: CSIRO

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $250,000 in funding to ERM Power, a subsidiary of Shell Energy Australia, to help Queensland manufacturing businesses better understand what’s needed to make the switch to clean energy.

Twenty Queensland manufacturers will participate in the program, undergoing energy assessments that will determine the potential for a range of different manufacturing businesses to increase energy productivity and renewable energy generation by electrifying traditional gas-based processes and optimising onsite solar.

ERM Power will assess 13 businesses that predominantly use electricity and seven businesses that predominantly use gas for energy across four regions in Queensland; Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton and South-East Queensland.

The business sites have been selected across sub-sectors including food and beverage, metals production, chemical production and machinery and equipment fabrication.

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ERM Power will create a comprehensive energy management plan designed specifically to meet the needs of businesses in those sub-sectors. The project is expected to help Queensland manufacturers improve their energy productivity and drive sector improvements through a web-based portal, knowledge sharing and public forums.

The $600,000 program builds on a successful pilot in 2018 that identified energy cost savings of up to 28 per cent for participating businesses.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said supporting industry to reduce emissions and transition to clean energy was a priority for ARENA and well aligned with the Australian Government’s recently released Low Emissions Technology Statement. 

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“The importance of supporting industry to reduce emissions through transitioning to clean energy technologies is a key element of the recently released First Low Emissions Technology Statement.

“This project is a great initiative in helping to reduce barriers for Queensland businesses to access information, training and networking opportunities to support renewable energy uptake in the manufacturing sector.”

Shell Energy Vice-President and ERM Power CEO Greg Joiner said: “Energy can be complex to navigate, and a lack of access to relevant, credible information and tools is a significant barrier to improving energy productivity. This program aims to break through those barriers by making the complex more simple, and we are proud to be a part of that.”

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