Clean energy and the electricity market
The electricity market is undergoing a significant transition. Renewable energy and clean energy technologies will play an increasingly important role in our modern and dynamic electricity market. Innovation in clean energy technology is essential for Australia for continued economic prosperity and to contribute to global efforts to reduce emissions.
The Australian Government is supporting clean energy innovation across the spectrum of research and development, demonstration and deployment.
As a member of Mission Innovation, a global initiative to accelerate breakthroughs in clean energy technology innovation, Australia is co-leading the development of a 'mission' on clean hydrogen that aims to reduce costs of hydrogen production and use across supply chains.
National Energy Transformation Partnership
On 12 August 2022, Energy Ministers agreed to the National Energy Transformation Partnership, representing a fundamental reset of relations across governments and the first fully integrated national energy and emissions agreement.
The Partnership covers all Australian states and territories, and signifies a common commitment by governments to the same net zero destination. Through the Partnership, governments will work together to maximise the economic opportunities offered by the clean energy transformation, ensure reliable and affordable electricity, and deliver the greatest benefits for Australian households, business, and communities.
National priorities for action include to:
- introduce an emissions objective into the national energy objectives
- co-design a First Nations Clean Energy Strategy to ensure First Nations people help drive the energy transformation
- identify and declare transmission of national significance to progress the timely delivery of critical projects and ensure better community consultation
- cooperate on plans for generation and storage adequacy, demand evolution, and workforce, supply chain and community needs
- collaborate on energy security management, including cyber security and fuel availability.
Read more about the National Energy Transformation Partnership.
Achievements to date
The government has invested in excess of $1.4 billion in reliable renewable generation and storage. This investment includes supporting a high-tech expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme and the development of Marinus Link, the second Bass Strait interconnector needed to turn Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation vision into reality. By increasing our energy storage options, we will help make renewables more reliable and stabilise our electricity grids.
Renewable Energy Target (RET)
The RET scheme is designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector by encouraging the additional generation of electricity from renewable sources.
The RET scheme is helping to transform Australia’s electricity generation mix to cleaner and more diverse sources. It is supporting growth and employment in the renewable energy sector by providing a financial incentive for investment in new renewable energy projects.
The Clean Energy Regulator has advised that there is sufficient renewable projects accredited under the scheme to meet and exceed the 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target of 33,0000 GWh of additional renewable generation. The Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target continues to support renewable energy power stations until the scheme ends in 2030.
With the help of the RET, as of 31 July 2022, Australian households and businesses have installed over 3.2 million solar PV systems and over 1.44 million solar water heater and air source heat pump systems.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
ARENA is supporting the transition to net zero emissions by accelerating the pace of pre-commercial innovation, to the benefit of Australian consumers, businesses and workers. ARENA provides grant funding towards research and development and the early-stage commercialisation of renewable energy technologies to improve their competitiveness availability in Australia.
As of 30 June 2022, ARENA has provided $1.86 billion in grant funding to 686 projects (source: ARENA Projects).
In July 2022 the government expanded the mandate of ARENA to support electrification and energy efficiency to build on ARENA’s strong history of supporting Renewable Energy.
Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)
The CEFC is investing in Australia’s transition to net zero emissions, working with investors, innovators and industry leaders to deliver on Australia’s ambitions for a thriving, low emissions future. They support energy efficiency, renewable energy and low emissions technology projects through loans and equity investments.
Since inception in 2013 to 30 June 2022, the CEFC has made investment commitments of more than $10.8 billion through more than 260 direct clean energy transactions. This includes arrangements with 13 co-finance counterparties that have delivered over 39,000 smaller transactions across Australia, investing in projects worth over $37 billion.
The $200 million Clean Energy Innovation Fund supports early stage and emerging clean energy technologies. The Clean Energy Innovation Fund is co‑managed by ARENA and the CEFC.
Australia’s climate change strategies Australian Government
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Australian Government
Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Australian Government
Renewable Energy Target Australian Government