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ARENA Launches Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Programme

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced the launch of the AU$43 million Industrial Energy Transformation Studies (IETS) Programme on behalf of the Australian Government. The programme is part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget and aims to identify opportunities to reduce energy costs and emissions in the industrial sector.

Grant funding will be provided in two streams to support feasibility studies and engineering studies to establish business cases for replicable projects that demonstrate energy efficiency and renewable energy technology solutions for the industry. Applicants can seek AU$100,000 to AU$500,000 for feasibility studies or AU$250,000 to AU$5 million for engineering studies. Companies and organisations in the agriculture, mining, manufacturing, gas supply, water supply, waste services and data centre sectors will be able to avail of the funding.

These sectors are the largest users of energy in Australia, with around half of industrial energy used to produce process heat for industrial and other processes. Renewable energy adoption by industry can also be supported with energy storage including batteries, thermal and material storage and technologies that enable greater flexibility and responsiveness of energy demand, such as digitalisation and enhanced controls.

In the past, ARENA funded several projects that aimed to reduce emissions in the industrial sector, including a Renewable Energy for Process Heat Opportunity study by an Australian non-profit organisation, a utilities company’s Advancing Renewables in the Manufacturing Sector studies programme and the Energy Transition Initiative programme to accelerate decarbonisation across whole supply chains in sectors where abatement has traditionally faced challenges including steel, aluminium, bauxite and chemicals.

The CEO of ARENA noted that the programme will create a pathway for emissions abatement among some of Australia’s largest industrial energy consumers. Enabling large energy users to cut down their emissions is an essential part of decarbonising the economy and helping Australia meet its emissions reduction goals.

Whether by integrating renewable energy into existing processes or increasing energy efficiency to minimise energy demand and cost, the Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Programme will identify credible and innovative solutions to the challenge of reducing emissions in the industry.

Smart, replicable solutions are now needed as Australian industries work towards decarbonising, to help cut energy costs and reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors. Through this programme, ARENA is looking to support solutions that can provide blueprints for business across energy-intensive industrial sectors.

About the

Under the IETS Programme, AU$43 million in funding will be rolled out to help large energy users undertake engineering and feasibility studies to identify opportunities to lower energy costs and reduce emissions. The Program aims to support feasibility and engineering studies and associated metering that can enable an investment decision in energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for industrial processes, which will:

  • deliver a transformational improvement in industrial energy efficiency as compared to business-as-usual energy use; and/or
  • deliver a transformational increase in renewable energy use as compared to business-as-usual energy use; and
  • deliver a transformational reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below business-as-usual emissions, and
  • demonstrate high replicability potential across similar industrial settings.
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