The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is set to launch the $43 million Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Program, designed to find opportunities to reduce energy costs and emissions within the industrial sector. 

The first round of the program, originally announced as part of the 20/21 Federal Budget, will see up to $25 million of grant funding being made available to support feasibility and engineering studies to establish the business case for replicable projects that demonstrate energy efficiency and decarbonisation technology solutions for industry.

Funding will be made available to companies and organisations in the agriculture, mining, manufacturing, gas supply, water supply, waste services and data centre sectors.

The program will look to fund studies into industrial solutions that deliver transformational improvement in energy efficiency or greenhouse gas emissions and also share knowledge that can lead to replication across similar industry settings. 

In September 2020, Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor,  announced the funding program as part of the Federal Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement.

ARENA has since consulted with a number of industry associations to seek feedback on the key design elements for the program.

ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said the program would help accelerate the decarbonisation of the industrial sector, including heavy industry.

“While we’re at the early stages of helping industry transition to increased use of renewable energy, this program 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,” Mr Miller said.

“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 provided almost $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.

Under the program, applicants can seek $100,000 to $500,000 for feasibility studies, or $250,000 to $5 million for engineering studies.

Applications for the initial round will open on Tuesday 6 July 2021. Interested applicants should review the Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Program Round 1 Guidelines. For more information, click here.

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