The Australian government has announced the Australian Renewable Energy Agence (ARENA) Amendment (Powering Australia) Regulations 2022, expanding the mandate of the body to support energy efficiency and electrification technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In a statement, ARENA said the new regulations will replace the previous regulations, ARENA (Clean Energy Technologies Regulations 2022, introduced by the previous government on 2 April 2022.
The previous regulations broadened the agency’s power to support clean energy technologies such as carbon capture, soil carbon, and blue hydrogen. With the new regulations, ARENA cannot support these negative emission technologies, it said.
“This expansion of our mandate will allow ARENA to support emissions reduction across a broader range of sectors and emerging technologies,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said.
“ARENA will also continue to support renewable energy projects, where we are working on innovation in ultra low-cost solar, large scale storage, demand flexibility, hydrogen, and low emission metals,” he added.
ARENA said electrification of industrial processes and ramping up energy efficiency will help reduce emissions, on the bank of the rise in renewable generation.
Electrification technologies include electric vehicle chargers, heat pumps and mining applications, whilst energy efficiency technologies can reduce and manage demand, reduce energy costs and emissions and support a flexible and renewable grid, it said.
The agency has provided support to 628 projects since 2021 with A$1.86b in grant funding, unlocking a total renewable energy investment of $8.05b.