Out-Law News 1 min. read

ARENA to provide $19m for studies to reduce emissions

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided A$25 million ($19m) grant funding in the first round of the Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Programme.

The A$43m ($33m) programme is part of the 2020/2021 federal budget and it seeks to help large energy users to undertake studies to identify opportunities to lower energy costs and reduce emissions.

The first round aims to support feasibility and engineering studies for replicable energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects. Feasibility studies can get between A$100,000 ($76,000) and A$500,000 ($380,000) for up to 75% of qualified project costs. Engineering studies can get between A$250,000 ($190,000) and A$5m ($3m) for up to 50% of qualified project costs.

Energy expert George Varma of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “This is an important investment which will facilitate innovation and have economic benefits as new business opportunities will potentially emerge. Developing new technologies and processes, coupled with a critical analysis of where we can improve our business practices to reduce emissions. is not only necessary, but also responsible governance.”

“This will no doubt benefit the private sector as well given the increasing pressure on companies to reduce their carbon footprint, as recently evidenced by the Dutch District Court’s decision against Shell.  This is certainly a step in the right direction from an economic, as well as an environmental and social responsibility, perspective,” he said.

Companies from the agriculture, mining, manufacturing, gas supply, water supply, waste services and data centre sectors are allowed to apply for the fund.

The first round will open to applications on 6 July.

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