ARENA releases investment plan for low-emissions technologies

Article by Amanda Doyle

THE Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has launched an investment plan setting out how it will support the technologies needed to transition to zero emissions.

ARENA recently expanded its remit to include low-emissions technology and it has now released its Funding and Investment Plan on how it intends to finance these technologies.

It will provide funding for projects that optimise the energy transition such as energy storage, commercialising clean hydrogen production, and supporting the transition to low emissions aluminium and steel. It will also explore opportunities to scale up carbon capture and storage technology.

Darren Miller, CEO of ARENA, said: “To get to net zero, we need to invest today in the technologies that are going to transform our energy system and our economy in the years to come. Our new priorities are focussed on the next generation of energy technologies that will position Australia as a leader in a net zero world.”

“We’ve already committed over A$160m (US$116m) in hydrogen, but we need to continue to grow a clean hydrogen industry and export market as this is still in its infancy. We also need to support the aluminium and steel industry to transition, whether through electrification, hydrogen or new alternatives in order to improve the competitiveness and emissions intensity of our heavy industries. Finally, we will be looking to scale up CCS and reduce the cost of soil carbon. As these are new areas for ARENA, we’ll be consulting with industry and researchers to develop our approach to these technologies.”

The Australian reported that Miller told a forum outlining the plan that it could be ten years before hydrogen is operating at scale.

Australia is taking a “technology-based” approach towards reaching zero emissions. It has yet to set a net zero target, has not increased its climate ambitions under the Paris Agreement, and has a “highly insufficient” climate policy rating according to Climate Action Tracker.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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