Federal Budget kick-starts Australia’s clean energy superpower masterplan

Australia’s clean energy future has over the years picked interest and is among the 2023-24 Federal Budget winners with $4bn in new funding commitments that turbo-charge Australia’s green hydrogen sector and drive the electrification of Australian homes and small businesses. 

What do the funding commitments mean for Australia?

This shows that the Albanese Government recognises the crucial role of clean energy in our economic future and that clean energy and electrification drive down power prices and manage inflation. The budget commitment to $2bn in production incentives for renewable hydrogen will leverage many billions in private investment and will be a boon for Aussie jobs.

Its a downpayment on Australia’s response to the United States Inflation Reduction Act, ensuring Australia remains in the race to become a global clean energy superpower.  

The commitments include $5.6m for The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water to conduct rapid analysis and action to ensure Australia’s clean energy competitiveness, including securing supply chains, building the highly skilled workforce required and realising competitive advantages in critical minerals and green manufacturing.  

The Clean Energy Council has advocated for work to begin on a Clean Energy Superpower Masterplan, and the Federal Government has listened. For the first time in years, we have a govt that listens to industry and deeply understands what is required, taking commendable action since coming to power and in this budget. When clean energy wins, families, communities and businesses win. This is good news for industry, but also for all Australians.

This budget has the building blocks to keep Australia in the clean energy investment race and balances cost of living relief for SMBs and households through clean energy and energy efficiency. They are steps in building the foundation to accelerate the clean energy transition.  

There’ll be more to do in the coming months and years to deliver Australia’s clean energy transition and realise our nation’s clean energy superpower ambitions. The Clean Energy Council will continue to work collaboratively with the government to help make this a reality.

What were the budget allocations for clean energy?

Federal Budget measures announced on Tuesday night for clean energy also include:

  • $300 million in funding to be matched by the states for a total of $600 million to upgrade social housing. 

  • $1 billion for Clean Energy Finance Corporation to provide green finance for residential home electrification and energy upgrades, including provision for landlords to support rental housing.  

  • $38.2 million for a Guarantee of Origin scheme to certify renewable energy and green hydrogen production. 

  • Funding for First Nations Community Engagement with green hydrogen development on Country. 

  • Significant new generation and storage through the Capacity Investment Scheme. 

  • Confirming budget commitments for the recently announced Net Zero Authority and the Small Business Energy Incentive program.  

The Clean Energy Council acknowledges the work undertaken by the Albanese Government since taking office to accelerate Australia’s clean energy transition, which includes: 

  • Legislated climate targets. 

  • The inclusion of emissions reduction goals in the National Electricity Objectives. 

  • Establishing the Rewiring the Nation initiative and agreements to proceed with a range of critical transmission projects. 

  • Commitment to developing a Congestion Relief Market. 

  • Australian Renewable Energy Agency funding for eight grid-scale batteries.

Kane Thornton is the Chief Executive for the Clean Energy Council.

Kane Thornton, Chief Executive at Clean Energy Council
Kane Thornton, Chief Executive at Clean Energy Council