31 October 2022

Australian Budget commits A$25bn to clean energy and renewables projects

The Australian Government has released its Budget October 2022–23. It commits record funding of almost A$25 billion to clean energy spending, providing greater direction and backing the Government’s net zero commitment by 2050. It includes funding for projects that unlock opportunities for clean energy and renewables investors.

Powering Australia to deliver a cleaner energy future

The Australian Government is committed to building a cleaner energy future for Australia. Its Powering Australia plan is focused on projects that reduce emissions by boosting renewable energy. This creates significant opportunities for investment across Australian renewables and the country’s growing green economy. Major projects under the plan are listed below.

Modernising Australia’s electricity grid

The A$20 billion Rewiring the Nation plan is an ambitious program to modernise Australia’s electricity grid. It includes investing in the Marinus Link to connect Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation pumped hydro and renewables to the East Coast transmission network. Another project will fast-track Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones and its industry-leading offshore wind developments.

Reducing transport emissions

The Driving the Nation Fund invests A$500 million to help reduce transport emissions. This includes building electric vehicle charging infrastructure at 117 highway sites and hydrogen highways for key freight routes. The Government is also cutting taxes on electric cars.

Installing community batteries and solar banks

The Government has earmarked over A$300 million for community batteries and solar banks. The A$224.3 million Community Batteries for Household Solar Program will deliver up to 400 community batteries to store excess solar energy. The A$102.2 million Community Solar Banks program will help Australian households access cheap solar-powered energy.

Transforming regional communities

The Government will establish the A$1.9 billion Powering the Regions Fund. The fund will support Australian industry to decarbonise, develop new clean energy industries and help build Australia’s new energy workforce.

Skilling the clean energy workforce

The Government is committing over A$100 million to the New Energy Apprenticeships and New Energy Skills programs. This will address growing skills demand in the clean energy sector.

Renewable energy farm using a combination of wind turbines and solar PV arrays

Australia partners with Singapore and Japan in transition to net zero

As part of its commitment to transitioning to net zero, Australia has recently signed landmark agreements with Singapore and Japan. We recognise that the world cannot transition to clean energy without collaboration across borders.

Australia and Singapore sign Green Economy Agreement

On 18 October, Australia and Singapore signed a landmark Green Economy Agreement (GEA) to strengthen trade and investment in clean energy. The Budget sets aside A$19.6 million over 4 years for initiatives under the agreement. These initiatives include reducing non-tariff barriers; and promoting collaboration between Australian and Singaporean businesses to build capability in new green growth sectors.

Australia and Japan strengthen critical minerals cooperation

On 22 October, Australia and Japan signed a Critical Minerals Partnership to help build secure supply chains for critical minerals. These crucial elements of clean energy technologies are needed to help both countries meet net-zero commitments. The partnership will promote opportunities for information sharing and collaboration, including research, investment and commercial arrangements between Japanese and Australian projects.

Investment opportunities in Australian clean energy and renewables

Overall, Australia is ranked sixth in the world on EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index for renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities. There is significant potential for both renewable investment and broader green economy investment in Australia, driven by growth in government funding, abundant natural resources, and Australia’s ability to develop solutions for global supply chains, especially in critical and battery minerals.

According to fDiMarkets, Australia has already attracted 10 renewable energy projects in the first half of 2022, worth a total of US$6.4 billion. This includes investments by Italy’s Enel Green Power and Belgium-based Nyrstar. These companies recognise that Australia’s natural advantages offer extensive investment opportunities in:

  • clean hydrogen
  • renewables – wind, solar, energy storage
  • microgrids and storage solutions
  • future fuel technologies.

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