The Australian Government’s Powering Australia plan is focused on creating jobs, cutting power bills and reducing emissions by boosting renewable energy. The government has progressed the following Powering Australia and other energy and climate change commitments.
- Formal lodgement of the 43% emissions reduction target by 2030 as an enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.
- Enshrining this and the target of net zero by 2050 in law with the Climate Change Act 2022.
- Funding of $45.8 million over 6 years as part of the 2022-23 Budget to support an international climate step-up. This includes a bid to co-host a future Conference of the Parties in Australia with Pacific partner countries and constructive and ambitious participation in international forums.
- Funding of $42.6 million over 4 years in the 2022-23 Budget to enable the Climate Change Authority to provide independent climate change advice to government.
- Funding of $7.1 million over 2 years in the 2022-23 Budget to implement an interim policy and reporting framework as part of the government’s commitment that the Australian Public Service, excluding security agencies, commit to net zero emissions by 2030.
- Tabling in Parliament of Australia’s First Annual Climate Change Statement on 1 December 2022. The Statement accepted the advice of the Climate Change Authority in full, including to develop a plan showing Australia’s pathway to net zero by 2050 and Australia’s 2035 emissions target.
- Announcement of a National Net Zero Authority in the 2023-24 Budget to help guide Australia’s net zero transformation.
- Funding of $28 million in the 2023-24 Budget to identify and prioritise nationally significant climate risks to Australia and develop a National Adaptation Plan.
- Funding of $236 million over 10 years in the 2023-24 Budget for Flood Warning Infrastructure Network Remediation.
Backing industry, agriculture and carbon farming
- The Safeguard Mechanism has been reformed to put Australia’s largest industrial emitters on a pathway to net zero by 2050, commencing on 1 July 2023. Funding of $8.6 million in the 2023-24 Budget will support implementation and review of the Safeguard Mechanism reforms.
- Allocating funding from the Powering the Regions Fund (PRF) to continue the government’s support for Australia’s regions in a decarbonising economy, including supporting investments to reduce emissions in existing industries and fostering development of new, clean energy industries and workforces.
Three funding streams have been designed in consultation with stakeholders:
- The $600 million Safeguard Transformation Stream (STS) to support decarbonisation investments at trade-exposed industrial facilities covered by the Safeguard Mechanism. The STS is now open for applications. Please visit business.gov.au for further information on how to apply and access a copy of the Program Opportunity Guidelines.
- The $400 million Industrial Transformation Stream (ITS) to support the reduction of direct and indirect emissions at existing industrial facilities, or clean energy developments, in regional Australia. The ITS will be delivered by the Australia Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Program opportunity guidelines are under development. Please visit ARENA’s website for further information.
- The $400 million Critical Inputs to Clean Energy Industries (CICEI) program to support the domestic manufacturing capability of industries that produce inputs (primary steel production sector, cement and lime, alumina and aluminium sectors) that are essential to the development of Australia’s clean energy industries. The CICEI – Cement, Lime, Alumina and Aluminium Sector grant program is now open for applications. Please visit business.gov.au for further information on how to apply and access a copy of the Program Opportunity Guidelines. The CICEI – Primary Steel Production Sector grant program has also opened on an invitation-only basis.
- Funding of $3.9 million over 2 years in the 2023-24 Budget for a review of policy options to reduce carbon leakage, including consideration of an Australian carbon border adjustment mechanism for the steel and cement sectors (including clinker and lime production).
- The government accepted in principle all 16 recommendations of the independent expert review of the integrity of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). Read more about the independent review of ACCUs.
- Commitment of $18.1 million in the 2023-24 Budget to strengthen the integrity of Australian Carbon Credits Units.
- $2 billion in the 2023-24 Budget for the new Hydrogen Headstart program, providing revenue support for large-scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts. This investment will accelerate development of Australia’s hydrogen industry, which is critical to our vision of being a Renewable Energy Superpower.
- A further $2 million over 2 years in the 2023-24 Budget to help First Nations communities engage with hydrogen project developers.
- Funding of $5.6 million in the 2023-24 Budget to support further work on the best ways to leverage Australia’s competitive strengths to accelerate our clean industrial and manufacturing capabilities, with further actions to be identified by the end of 2023.
- Funding of $38.2 million in the 2023-24 Budget to establish a Guarantee of Origin scheme to certify renewable energy and track and verify emissions from clean energy products – in particular hydrogen.
- A Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre announced in the 2023-24 Budget as part of the Australian Made Battery Plan. It will work alongside the $392.4 million Industry Growth Program to bolster Australian manufacturing.
- Developing the Australian Made Battery Plan for globally competitive Australian battery industries.
- Commitment of $15 billion in the 2022-23 Budget to establish the National Reconstruction Fund, including up to $3 billion for the Powering Australia plan to support renewables and low emissions technologies.
- Funding of $8.1 million over 3 years in the 2022-23 Budget to progress research and support the commercialisation of seaweed as an emissions-reducing livestock feed supplement.
- Funding of $95.6 million over 9 years in the 2022-23 Budget to support 10,000 people under the New Energy Apprenticeship; and a $9.6 million New Energy Skills program.
- The government has commissioned Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) to undertake a Clean Energy Capacity Study to evaluate workforce needs and enable Australia to strategically plan for the skills needed for the transformation to a clean energy economy. JSA is engaging with key stakeholders to inform a final report by mid-2023.
- Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy was released on 19 April 2023. The strategy will increase the uptake of electric vehicles across Australia, reduce emissions, and improve the health and wellbeing of Australians.
- The strategy includes development of the first Fuel Efficiency Standard for light vehicles. Consultation closed 31 May 2023.
- Passing the $345 million Electric Car Discount Bill in November 2022, exempting eligible electric cars from fringe benefits tax (FBT) and the 5% import tariff.
- Funding of $275.4 million over 6 years in the 2022-23 Budget for the Driving the Nation Fund, taking total investment to over $500 million to help reduce transport emissions, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen highways. The NRMA agreed to partnership delivery arrangements for the National EV Charging Network and Hydrogen Highways on 1 March 2023.
- Funding of $14 million over 4 years in the 2022-23 Budget to the Australian Automobile Association to conduct on-road emissions and fuel consumption testing of light vehicles sold in Australia.
- Introduction of the Commonwealth fleet target to ensure its fleet purchases and leases will be 75% low emissions vehicles by 2025.
- Funding of $1.6 billion in the 2023-24 Budget for an Energy Saving Plan to help households and businesses improve their energy efficiency and save on energy costs. The package includes the $1.3 billion Household Energy Upgrades Fund, providing:
- $1 billion to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to turbocharge green financing options for household energy upgrades including battery- ready solar PV, better insulation and windows and modern appliances. This will help more than 110,000 households reach net zero future and lower their energy bills.
- $300 million, co-funded and co-designed with states and territories to target vulnerable Australians in social housing. It’s estimated that this will help around 60,000 social housing properties save up to one third of their energy consumption each year.
- $310 million for the Small Business Energy Incentive providing small businesses with an additional deduction on spending on electrification and energy efficiency.
- Implemented the Energy Price Relief Plan in the 2023-24 Budget with states and territories to reduce the impact of price increases. The plan places a temporary price cap on gas and electricity, introduces a mandatory code of conduct for east coast gas producers and provides targeted bill relief for eligible households and small businesses.
- Funding of $14.5 million in the 2023-24 Budget to accelerate the Offshore Renewable Growth Strategy and regulatory approvals to invest in our offshore energy industry to reach 82 per cent renewables by 2030 and make energy cheaper, cleaner and more reliable.
- Secured agreement to establish a new National Energy Transformation Partnership – a fundamental reset of relations across governments and the first fully integrated national energy and emissions agreement.
- Funding through the 2023-24 Budget for initial tenders under the Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) will accelerate investment in clean energy through Commonwealth underwriting. In 2023 the program will deliver a joint CIS/NSW Electricity infrastructure Roadmap tender, and tenders in South Australia and Victoria for dispatchable renewable generation and storage.
- Established Rewiring the Nation in the 2022-23 Budget with $20 billion in low-cost finance over 4 years to unlock investment in our electricity grid. More than $12 billion has been allocated to priority transmission projects since September 2022, including Marinus Link between Tasmania and Victoria, Renewable Energy Zones in Victoria and NSW, and the Victoria-NSW Interconnector (VNI West).
- Funding of $224.3 million over 4 years in the 2022-23 Budget to deploy 400 Community Batteries across Australia to reduce bills, cut emissions and ease pressure on the grid.
- Funding of $102.2 million over 4 years in the 2022-23 Budget for the Community Solar Banks initiative.