ARENA launches first funding round of AU$400 million ITS programme

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Application for the programmer will start from 30 November. Credit: ARENA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has launched the first funding round of the AU$400 million (AU$254.83 million) Industrial Transformation Stream (ITS) programme, which will see AU$150 million of ITS funding be made available primarily for applications focusing on regional decarbonisation of industrial process heat and off-road transportation.

“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,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller.

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Applications for the first round of the ITS programme will start from 30 November and will run until December 2024, or until funds are exhausted.

The ITS programme has multiple objectives. It aims to support industrial facilities in regional Australia to reduce emissions in line with Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction goals and transition to net zero by 2050, and improve technology readiness and commercial readiness of renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency technologies and electrification technologies that will result in a significant reduction in scope one and/or scope two emissions, or improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes.

Scope one emissions cover the greenhouse gas emissions a company makes directly, while scope two relates to the emissions a company makes indirectly, including energy produced on its behalf.

ARENA added that target sectors with a high emissions abatement opportunity include agriculture, electricity, gas, water and waste, mining, manufacturing and off-road transport.

Additionally, the ITS programme will support projects ranging from studies to demonstrations and deployment. Energy efficiency, electrification, and any renewable energy technologies that support industrial decarbonisation, such as using renewable fuels, solar thermal systems or zero emission vehicles will be considered. Enabling technologies, such as energy storage, load flexibility, demand management and critical infrastructure to support on site industrial decarbonisation, will also be considered.

ARENA also unveiled a new round of funding to develop and deploy microgrid technologies across regional and remote communities in August, allocating AU$125 million to the Regional Microgrids Programme, with AU$75 million being used to develop microgrid projects in First Nations communities

Between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023, ARENA committed AU$358 million to new projects, increasing from AU$107 million or by 234.6% year-on-year. ARENA also assigned AU$41.5 million for ultra low cost solar, a new focus since last year.

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