ARENA opens funding round for industrial decarbonisation

Steel being tipped into a furnace in a giant bucket (hydrogen steelworksl)
Steel manufacturing (Image: Shutterstock)

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has launched the first funding round of the $400 million Industrial Transformation Stream (ITS) to support emissions reduction at existing industrial facilities in regional Australia.

The Industrial Transformation Stream is part of the Powering the Regions Fund, the design of which was finalised by the Australian Government in the 2023-24 Federal Budget.

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Round 1 will see $150 million of ITS funding be made available primarily for applications focusing on regional decarbonisation of industrial process heat and off-road transportation. The program builds on ARENA’s priority in low emissions metals and previous work under existing programs to drive innovation and support industry to reduce their emissions.

To date, ARENA has supported over 660 projects with over $2.25 billion in funding working across the electricity sector as well as hard to abate sectors such as mining, metals refining and transport. The ITS will continue to build on this momentum to support Australia’s decarbonisation ambitions.

The Program will support projects ranging from studies to demonstrations and deployment. Opportunities may address a wide range of solutions, including energy efficiency, electrification, and any renewable energy technologies that support industrial decarbonisation (e.g. fuel switching to renewable fuels, solar thermal systems or zero emission vehicles). Enabling technologies such as energy storage or load flexibility / demand management and critical infrastructure to support on site industrial decarbonisation will also be considered.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said, “Progress in the industrial sector is vital to achieving our emissions reduction goals and will set Australia up as a renewable energy superpower that will maintain jobs and economic activity in our regions and capitalise on the world’s shift to green products.

“ARENA is ready to increase its commitment to industrial decarbonisation and provide assistance to help in the clean energy transition for this sector.

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“Now is the perfect opportunity for the industrial sector to make a meaningful change to adapt and future proof their businesses as we head towards net zero emissions.”

Round 1 of the ITS Focus Areas applications will be accepted from 30th November and run until December 2024, or until funds are exhausted or otherwise updated at ARENA’s discretion. Potential applicants are encouraged to reach out to ARENA prior to online submission.

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