What is the Business Ready Fund?
The Renewable Hydrogen Business Ready Fund is a grant opportunity to assist businesses to transition to renewable hydrogen for business cases or feasibility studies.
The Victorian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Plan, launched on 26 February 2021, provides the blueprint for growing a renewable hydrogen economy over the next 5 years. The development of a renewable hydrogen industry will support Victoria’s climate change ambitions and its net-zero emissions target by 2050. Decarbonisation and economic recovery can be accelerated and promoted across Victoria by supporting the establishment of a thriving renewable hydrogen industry.
The Renewable Hydrogen Business Ready Fund provides funding to assist businesses to transition to renewable hydrogen. The Victorian Government encourages applications from a wide range of industries including but not limited to agriculture, manufacturing, commercial users, water corporations and gas producers and distributors.
The Fund is part of the Accelerating Victoria’s Hydrogen Industry program (AVHI), which focuses on the development and deployment of zero-emissions renewable hydrogen technologies in Victoria.
The objectives of the Business Ready Fund are to:
- Enable businesses to identify pathways to transition towards renewable hydrogen
- Target users of natural gas, hydrogen and energy-intensive processes to maximise emissions reduction
- Increase confidence in transitioning to renewable hydrogen across the sector
- Build the profile of renewable hydrogen in Victoria and create a streamlined process for industry-government interactions and knowledge sharing.
As part of their business cases or feasibility study projects, a business could consider the following:
- Changes required in your business to use renewable hydrogen
- Sources of renewable hydrogen and timeframe for transition
- Potential scalability and replicability across a sector or multiple locations
- Risk evaluation
- The proportion of total energy consumption that could be replaced by renewable hydrogen.
The total grants program is up to $1.0 million. Applicants can seek up to $150,000 through this program, to a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project expenditure.
For Projects to be eligible under the program:
- The Project must be developed with the intention of investigating transitioning an energy source or specific process of the business to renewable hydrogen (as defined in Section 1.2);
- The business activity or process that the Project is investigating must be located within Victoria; and
- The Project must be completed by 20 May 2022.
The Business Ready Fund will not fund:
- Capital works;
- Recurrent operating costs;
- Other renewable energy projects (wind or solar project, switching fuel with biogas, energy efficiency projects); and
- Renewable hydrogen generation projects (unless they are also associated with a specific end use for the hydrogen).
The Business Ready Fund is open to all businesses in industrial and commercial sectors, including (but not limited to):
- Transport and mobility;
- Gas producers and distributors; and
- Water corporations.
Applications are open to a broad range of organisations and can include single entities or a consortium of participants. However, for all applications, whether single entries or a consortium, there must be one organisation identified as the lead applicant which must:
- Endorse the Application;
- Verify any commitment of funds for the business case or feasibility study; and
- Be authorised to enter into a Funding Agreement with the State if successful under the Business Ready Fund.
- Must provide evidence of how many months or years it has been in operation to date;
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN); and
- Provide evidence of funding secured to ensure a minimum 50 per cent funding co-contribution towards the project. Applicants contributing higher co-contribution will be considered favourably as per the Assessment Criteria outlined in Section 2.1. No projects will receive more than 50 cent of total funding through the Renewable Hydrogen Business Ready Fund.
Participating organisations (that are not the lead applicant), in addition to the above categories of organisation, may be a:
- Victorian-based university, research or training institution; or
- Victorian state entity.
Commonwealth Government entities and individuals are not eligible to apply.
Applications close 27 August 2021.