Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

AUSTRALIAN RENEWABLE ENERGY GRANT

What is Australian Renewable Energy Grants

The grant provides between $100,000 and $50 million to companies for projects that develop, deploy, and commercialise renewable energy technologies, supporting new tech affordability.

Background

The grant aims to enhance the renewable energy sector by supporting projects that develop, deploy, and commercialise new technologies. This initiative boosts economic growth, fosters innovation, and addresses climate change by increasing the adoption of sustainable energy sources. The government’s investment in renewable energy seeks to build a resilient, low-emission future while creating high-skilled jobs and maintaining energy affordability and reliability.

 

Objective

The objectives of the Australian Renewable Energy Grants are to:

  • Support the development and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies.
  • Accelerate the deployment of renewable energy projects to enhance energy affordability and reliability.
  • Boost economic growth and innovation within the renewable energy sector.
  • Contribute to climate change mitigation by increasing the use of sustainable energy sources.


ARENA Programmes

Research and Development Programme
Purpose:  To support world-class research and development in priority renewable energy technologies.

Availability:  Applications are accepted only during competitive rounds.

Advancing Renewables Programme
Purpose:  To support activities that reduce the cost or increase the value delivered of renewable energy, advance renewable energy technologies towards commercial readiness, reduce or remove barriers to uptake, or increase relevant skills, capacity and knowledge.

Availability:  Open to applications for all activities identified in the ARENA Investment Plan, other than those designated as competitive. Applications for the competitive activities are only accepted during competitive rounds.

Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund Programme
Purpose:  To foster skills and management capability, and provide funding confidence to renewable energy projects to strengthen their chance of success.

Availability:  The REVC Fund supports the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund. Applicants should contact Southern Cross Venture Partners directly to discuss venture capital opportunities.

Clean Energy Innovation Fund 
Purpose:  To support the growth of innovative clean energy technologies and businesses which are critical to Australia’s clean energy transformation.

Availability: The Fund targets technologies and businesses that have passed beyond the research and development stage and which can benefit from early stage seed or growth capital to help them progress to the next stage of their development.

Industrial Energy Transformation Studies

Purpose: To assist large energy users to undertake studies to identify opportunities to lower energy costs and reduce emissions.

Availability: The launch of Round 1A and Round 1B funding rounds, which was due to open on July 6, has been postponed pending the government issuing a new regulation that clarifies the technologies that ARENA is able to support in the Program. Program guidelines will be revised and reissued ahead of the opening date of the funding round.

Eligible Entities

Eligible entities for the Australian Renewable Energy Grant are:

  • Companies incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001.
  • Entities with a current Australian Business Number (ABN) and registered for GST.
  • Entities based in Australia focusing on renewable energy projects.
  • Applicants that can provide a clear plan for the development and deployment of renewable energy solutions.

Eligible Expenditure

The eligible expenditure for the Australian Renewable Energy Grant are:

  • Development and deployment of new renewable energy technologies.
  • Projects that aim to improve the affordability and accessibility of renewable energy.
  • Commercialisation efforts for innovative renewable energy solutions.
  • Expansion of renewable energy projects to increase capacity and efficiency.
  • Research and development activities focused on advancing renewable energy technologies.


Funding

Grants ranging from $100,000 to $50 million are available for eligible entities, with required matched funding on a 1:1 basis. 


Eligible Activities

Eligible expenditure for the Australian Renewable Energy Grant includes:

  • Development of new renewable energy sources, like solar or wind projects.
  • Upgrades and expansion of existing renewable energy facilities to increase capacity.
  • Implementation of innovative energy storage solutions to enhance grid stability.
  • Pilot projects that demonstrate the viability of emerging renewable technologies.
  • Initiatives aimed at increasing energy efficiency within renewable energy sectors.
  • Educational programs and workshops to foster community engagement and knowledge in renewable energy practices.


How to get Australian Renewable Energy Grant

In order to get the Australian Renewable Energy Grant you will need to focus on:

  • Clearly outline your project’s alignment with renewable energy generation, such as solar or wind.
  • Detail how the project will improve energy efficiency or introduce innovative storage solutions.
  • Describe any previous experience and success in renewable energy projects.
  • Demonstrate the project’s potential impact on reducing carbon emissions.
  • Provide a comprehensive budget that matches the grant’s funding criteria.
  • Show strong community engagement or educational aspects related to renewable energy.
  • Ensure your project supports the scalability of renewable technologies.
  • Highlight any partnerships with research institutions or industry leaders.
  • Detail the technical feasibility and sustainability of the project.
  • Explain how the project will contribute to the local or national energy goals.


Timing

The closing date for the Renewable Energy Grant is 29 April 2024.


More information

Source 

Recipients

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has reached $2 billion in funding since its establishment in 2012, with 10 new projects receiving just over $48 million. Nine of these projects were part of ARENA’s recent funding round for ultra low cost solar. ARENA has provided over $1 billion in funding for solar PV and solar thermal projects. The agency’s CEO, Darren Miller, said that ARENA’s funding supports the entire renewable energy innovation chain and aims to accelerate the affordability of new technologies while building investor confidence in renewable energy projects.

Two rounds currently open are Regional Microgrids and Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Program.

Source

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $1.5 million in funding to Spinifex Offshore Wind Farm to back its study the potential for a 1,000 MW offshore wind farm project off the coast of Portland, Victoria to power the local smelter.

Spinifex, a subsidiary of Alinta Energy, will conduct a wind resource assessment and accelerate early stage development activities leading to the wind farm’s construction.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project was the first to directly integrate variable renewable energy with an aluminium smelter, supporting the transition to low emissions metals.

Source

ARENA has announced conditional approval for three commercial-scale hydrogen projects to share $103.3 million of funding. The three projects were selected from seven shortlisted applicants vying for ARENA’s $70 million renewable hydrogen deployment funding round.

  • Engie’s project will receive up to $42.5 million to produce renewable hydrogen in a partnership with Yara Fertilisers at their existing ammonia facility in Karratha, Western Australia.
  • ATCO will receive up to $28.7 million to produce hydrogen for gas blending at their Clean Energy Innovation Park in Warradarge, Western Australia.
  • Australian Gas Networks (AGIG) will be provided with up to $32.1 million, also for a gas blending project, at their Murray Valley Hydrogen Park in Wodonga, Victoria.

Source

ARENA has conditionally approved up to $47 million in funding for Genex to construct a pumped hydro energy storage system at the former Kidston Gold Mine in north Queensland.

The facility will store energy from a 50 MW solar farm that is already operating on the site as well as a planned 150 MW wind farm that will begin construction in 2022.

Genex’s $777 million project will essentially turn the existing mine pits into a giant battery, pumping water into an upper storage reservoir when energy prices are low, then releasing it through reversible turbines into the lower reservoir to generate power when demand for electricity is high.

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $1.98 million in funding to Rheem Australia Pty Ltd (Rheem) to conduct its Active Hot Water Control project using hot water systems in South Australia.

Rheem’s trial will explore a number of approaches to demonstrate active control over approximately 2,400 residential hot water systems within South Australia. Residential customers with and without solar panels will be able to participate. The project is being launched under Rheem Australia’s renewables brand, Solahart.

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Latest News

ARENA invests $30 million to develop sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Australia, creating regional jobs and reducing aviation emissions. A homegrown SAF industry could generate 7,400 jobs by 2030. Limited SAF production and costs hinder the global net-zero target. ARENA’s 2021 Bioenergy Roadmap shows a local bioenergy industry contributing $10 billion to Australia’s GDP by 2030. Grants support engineering studies and pilot programs across the supply chain, from feedstock to fuel production.

Australia’s strong agriculture sector positions it as a global leader in scaling renewable fuel production. This reduces global aviation emissions and decreases reliance on imports. Minister Catherine King highlights Australia’s vast landmass and the importance of aviation for freight and passenger transport. Developing a SAF industry helps meet local needs and turns Australia into a sustainable fuels powerhouse.

The government closely monitors ARENA’s projects, recognising their potential to impact regional Australia. Fostering sustainable aviation fuel growth facilitates a transition to a more sustainable and responsible domestic aviation sector.

ARENA will open applications for grants by mid-July.

Source

In April 2023, ARENA took a major step forward in advancing Australia’s renewable energy goals by launching a significant funding round. An impressive $25 million was allocated to support 16 hydrogen research and development (R&D) projects. These projects were carefully designed to address three vital stages of the hydrogen supply chain: renewable hydrogen sources, methods for exporting or converting hydrogen into an exportable carrier, and exploring the practical applications of hydrogen.

The success of this funding round highlights ARENA’s steadfast commitment to fast-tracking Australia’s transition to renewable energy. Through active support of hydrogen R&D, ARENA plays a crucial role in driving innovation, unleashing the potential of large-scale renewable hydrogen, and forging a path towards a sustainable and cleaner energy future.

Securing funding for hydrogen R&D marks a significant milestone in Australia’s renewable energy journey, and ARENA stands at the forefront of this progress. With ongoing support for projects covering essential aspects of the hydrogen supply chain, ARENA continues to champion the growth and implementation of large-scale renewable hydrogen technologies. Their dedication is propelling Australia towards a greener and more sustainable future.

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has awarded $41.5 million in funding across 13 research projects to support research and development (R&D) and commercialisation activities that aim to significantly reduce the cost of solar.

Funding for ultra-low-cost solar R&D will build on ARENA’s previous investment into solar PV and is supporting projects that align with ARENA’s ‘Solar 30 30 30’ target of 30 per cent module efficiency and 30 cents per installed watt at utility scale by 2030.

The funding has been awarded to researchers from three Australian universities: The University of New South Wales (UNSW), The Australian National University (ANU) and The University of Sydney (USYD).

Source

Australia’s potential to become a renewable energy exporter is taking a big step forward via its largest renewable hydrogen plant so far, to be built in the Pilbara.

ARENA has conditionally approved a grant of $47.5 million in funding to build a 10 MW electrolyser and 18 MW of solar PV in Karratha, WA. The $87 million project led by global energy company ENGIE will use renewable electricity to produce hydrogen and supply it to the adjacent Yara Pilbara Fertiliser facility.

Yara will be Australia’s largest electrolyser, capable of producing up to 640 tonnes of renewable hydrogen each year. This first-of-its-kind project will produce green hydrogen via electrolysis from renewable energy. The project is expected to start construction in October 2022 and be completed by 2024.

Source

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $318,000 in funding to demonstrate a full-scale solar PV and ground-source heat pump system. The project will be for a commercial broiler facility in Yanderra, New South Wales. Annual energy bills for chicken farms amount to around $80 to $100 million across Australia.

The hybrid system will see the installation of a 100-200 kW thermal ground source heat pump system to replace LPG as a fuel for heating and cooling a single shed for housing chickens. The poultry broiler industry utilises sheds that require both heating when chicks are young, and cooling as the chicks grow up.

Ground Source Systems estimates that installing heat pumps powered by onsite solar PV has the potential to reduce total emissions by around 1 million tonnes per year and provide even better conditions for the chickens housed in the shed.

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Local researchers have unlocked a way to produce low cost hydrogen from renewable electricity, which is now on the road to commercialisation.

Hydrogen technology developer Hysata says its breakthrough puts within reach the cost of producing hydrogen at a cost competitive with gas – $2 per kilogram. Hard-to-abate sectors including steel manufacturing, heavy transport and chemical production are predicted to be major customers.

Hydrogen is emerging as a key opportunity towards global net-zero targets because of its versatility. It can be used to produce electricity, displace natural gas and repower transport. However, low conversion efficiency and high costs have previously left this production method unable to compete with fossil fuel-derived alternative.

Source

The Australian Energy Market Commission, the rule maker for Australia’s electricity market, has proposed changes they say will help to integrate more rooftop solar into the grid and address the emerging “traffic jam” caused by rooftop solar uptake in certain areas.

In March, the AEMC released its draft determination that would also change the way distribution networks can recover costs associated with hosting solar and offer new incentives for solar homes to shift their exports outside of peak times.

The proposal would allow networks to implement “two-way” pricing, offering payments to solar households for sending energy to the grid when it is needed, but also potentially charge to export at congested times.

Source

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $341,990 in funding to startup Diffuse Energy, which will support installation of micro wind turbines at ten off-grid telecommunications towers to demonstrate the company’s technology.

Diffuse was founded by University of Newcastle engineering researchers in 2018. One of its potential markets is remote telecommunications centres. These are heavily reliant on diesel generation, which creates exposure to natural disasters and risks lost communications at times when they’re most needed.

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Expert Assistance

 

Writing a good quality grant application is a critical element in the application process. An application needs to be well thought through, written concisely, have clear objectives and purpose, and show clear links to the objectives of the grant guidelines.

The grant application must answer all questions, provide all required information and respond to the merit criteria. It should also reflect your organisation’s business strategy.

Writing a good application takes time and effort, and requires particular writing skills.

Bulletpoint are expert grant consultants and can assist with all aspects of grant preparation. We are an independent grants consultancy and not affiliated, associated nor endorsed by any government agency.

See our case studies of organisations that we have assisted.

 

If you are ready to get that grant, feel free to get in touch.

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