Record funding for ARENA to supercharge Australia’s net zero transition


The Australian government announced a funding package of $7.1 billion for budgeted programs to be administered by Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) including:

  • $1.9 billion boost to ARENA’s baseline funding
  • $2 billion for round two of the Hydrogen Headstart program
  • $1.7 billion for the Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund
  • $1 billion previously announced for the Solar Sunshot program
  • $500 million for the Battery Breakthrough Initiative

The funding and programs build on ARENA’s existing work and track record of over nearly twelve years in delivering transformative projects that accelerate the energy transition in pursuit of Australia’s emissions reduction targets.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said it was a show of continued support for ARENA in what the agency has previously achieved as leaders in the energy transition.

“It is now more urgent than ever to take action on reducing emissions. ARENA is continuing to perform at the highest level, with the backing of a solid and proven investment strategy and a capable team, we welcome the government’s trust in us to continue our important work,” he said.

Since 2012, ARENA has supported 727 projects with $2.60 billion in funding commitments, unlocking a total investment of almost $12.51 billion in Australia’s renewable energy industry.

ARENA is also currently delivering the $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program, with recipients expected to be announced later this year. Additional funding for a second round of Hydrogen Headstart will help build on developing a local renewable hydrogen industry.

“Hydrogen Headstart represents an important step towards Australia becoming a global renewable hydrogen leader. The current shortlisted applicants for Round 1 highlight the commitment from the private sector to develop this new industry. Additional funding for Hydrogen Headstart allows for even more projects to reach maturity and fast track our renewable hydrogen industry,” Miller said.

$1 billion in funding will also be administered by ARENA for the Solar Sunshot program to help unlock domestic solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing across the entire supply chain.

“The Solar Sunshot program will enable Australia to take a first step in establishing a local solar PV manufacturing industry and supply chain. Playing a meaningful role in the solar PV supply chain is an important part of becoming a renewable energy superpower in the decades ahead,” Miller said.

In addition to new baseline funding and new budget programs, ARENA is currently working on delivering:

  • The $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart Program (Round 1)
  • The $400 million Powering the Regions Industrial Transformation Stream
  • $125 million Regional Microgrids Program, with $75 million allocated to microgrid projects in First Nations communities
  • $120 million for Round 1 of the Community Batteries program
  • $70 million in funding for 2023 Focus Areas of the Driving the Nation program
  • $40 million for the National Industrial Transformation program
  • $30 million for the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Funding Initiative