On Thursday 17th September 2020, the Federal Government announced a $1.9 billion investment package into future energy technologies.
This stimulus included:
- $1.6 billion commitment to fund ARENA over the next ten years to expand its programs to support low emissions technologies, not just renewables.
- $70.2 million to establish a regional hydrogen export hub.
- $67 million to support micro-grids projects for remote areas including mines, farms, and communities currently reliant on expensive diesel.
- $57 million to boost electric vehicle sales.
- $74.5 million to the Future Fuels Fund to provide charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, hydrogen, and bioenergy vehicles.
- $95.4 million to the Technology Co-Investment Fund to assist businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and transport sectors to adopt technologies that increase productivity and reduce emissions.
See media release.
Homes and Commercial Buildings
This funding does include $52.2 million which will go to energy efficiency measures for homes and commercial buildings. This funding is expected to consist of the following:
- $12 million to help small hotels and pubs save energy.
- $12 million to help community organisations lower their energy bills.
- Funding for existing energy efficiency efforts, including programs that give consumers information on the energy efficiency of buildings before they buy or lease.
This funding for homes and community organisations is certainly welcome and will assist with the adoption energy–saving solutions and reduce energy bills. However, it is not enough to support households and community organisations sufficiently nationwide and does not directly support the transition to renewables.
This announcement, yet again, highlights another missed opportunity by the Federal Government to provide economic stimulus and drive job creation through an energy efficiency upgrading of social housing and community organisations nation-wide.
In June 2020, Shelter WA and 50 other organisations called for the Federal and State Governments to support the National Low-Income Energy Productivity Plan (NLEPP) to build back a stronger and more resilient economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic by investing in energy efficient homes nationwide.
With once again insufficient commitment from the Government for energy efficient housing, it is evident the politicians are continuing to throw Australian taxpayers’ money at saving the fossil fuel industry rather than transitioning Australian households and industries to renewable and more affordable energy.
See the NLEPP Shelter WA Media release and joint statement here.
Energy Efficiency Council. 2020. News: ARENA Funding Welcome, But Time to Start up Jobs Machine. Read here.
Parkinson, Giles. 2020. ARENA to get $1.4 billion as Coalition channels funds to CCS, hydrogen and pubs. Renew Economy. Read here.