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The $1 billion program is designed to grow solar PV manufacturing in Australia and support global supply chains.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), in consultation with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW), will design the program which aims to accelerate the development of Australia’s solar manufacturing industry, catalyse clean energy industries and help Australia connect to new global solar supply chains.

ARENA has published a consultation paper outlining a proposed structure for the program that could see the program delivered through a series of funding rounds supporting targeted stages of the supply chain.

Under the program, production-linked payments are proposed to be the primary form of financial support. ARENA will also, informed by consultation, assess how capital grant funding or other forms of concessional support can be used to complement production-linked payments to achieve the program objectives.

ARENA will accept written submissions through online forms, available on the Sunshot webpage, and will host two consultation webinars.

ARENA Chief Executive Officer, Darren Miller, said the consultation process would help ARENA to determine the best approach for delivering the $1 billion package.

“ARENA will be working closely with industry to design a program that supports innovative and competitive solar PV manufacturing that is critical to securing Australia’s role in the transition to a net zero world.

“The scale at which solar needs to be deployed to meet our climate targets means that we cannot rely solely on importing solar panels from overseas. Australia can drive a greater role in PV production to make our supply chain less vulnerable.

“We’ll be using our deep industry connections and more than a decade of experience accelerating Australia’s shift to renewables to ensure the program delivers for industry, communities and all Australians.

“There is a credible pathway for building a solar manufacturing industry in Australia. A collaborative and committed approach from government and the private sector gives us the best chance at tackling this challenge,” Mr Miller said.

The consultation remains open until 31 May 2024. For more information including the consultation paper, webinar dates and submission portal, click here. 

Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/PeopleImages-Yuri+A

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