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Federal Budget 2020-21: Energy

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The Budget has some significant outcomes for the energy industry, with the Government looking to improving energy affordability and reliability whilst also directing resources to measures aimed at reducing emissions and increasing productivity

Investments in new energy technologies

The Government will provide $1.9 billion over 12 years from 2020-21 to continue funding the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), expand the investment mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and invest in low emissions technologies, network infrastructure, dispatchable generation and reliable supplies in the National Electricity Market (NEM).  Some of these measures include:

  • $95.4 million over six years from 2020-21 (including $76.4 million over four years to 2023-24) to create a co-investment fund that supports industrial, freight and agricultural businesses to identify and adopt technologies to reduce emissions and increase productivity;
  • $74.5 million over four years from 2020-21 to create the Future Fuels Fund, which would enable businesses to integrate new vehicle technologies, perform integration analysis and develop improved information on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure;
  • $67.1 million over six years from 2020-21 (including $53.9 million over four years to 2023-24) to expand the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund to support pilot studies for microgrids in regional and remote areas; and
  • $1.4 billion over 12 years from 2020-21 (including $223.9 million over four years to 2023-24) to continue funding ARENA to provide research and development investment for emerging low emission technologies to increase their commercial readiness.

Investments in other energy initiatives

The Government will provide:

  • $10.0 million over four years from 2020-21 to support industry-led collaborative research projects through the Cooperative Research Centres Projects program to develop innovative solutions for recycling and reuse of plastics, paper, tyres and other problematic materials and hard-to-recycle waste; and
  • $52.9 million over four years from 2020-21 to support a gas-fired recovery and strengthen the economy by taking steps to unlock gas supply, deliver an efficient pipeline and transportation market, and empower gas customers.

Improving energy affordability and reliability

The Government will provide up to $134.7 million over four years from 2020-21 to support investment in dispatchable generation and reliable energy supplies in the NEM and the Wholesale Energy Market in Western Australia.  Some of these measures include:

  • loan funding to progress the delivery of the design and approval phase of the Marinus Link project (a second transmission interconnector between Victoria and Tasmania) to enable a financial investment decision by 2024;
  • funding for the South West Interconnected System Big Battery Project in Western Australia; and
  • upgrades to Delta Electricity's Vales Point Power Station to reduce emissions, improve reliability and provide additional dispatchable generation in New South Wales.

The Government will also invest $250.7 million over 10 years from 2020-21 to hold a sovereign refining capability and increase our domestic storage capabilities to secure Australia's liquid fuel security. 

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