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How significant could the proposed expanded mandate for ARENA be for decarbonising our economy?

By Jarrod Leak, CEO of A2EP - 31 July 2022

Like many in the industry, we were pleased to hear news this past week of the Australian Government introducing the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Amendment (Powering Australia) Regulations 2022. The proposed new regulations expand ARENA’s mandate to allow it to support energy efficiency and electrification technologies in a bid to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The changes are an important recognition of how a range of technologies and measures will be needed to support Australia’s path to its net zero targets and how certain technologies can complement and maximise the benefits of the renewable generation technologies ARENA has traditionally supported.

Of particular interest to A2EP and its members is the inclusion of energy efficiency and electrification technologies, including heat pumps, which are vital to the electrification and decarbonisation of industrial processes. As a result, a broader range of sectors will be supported in emission reduction efforts, including hard-to-abate sectors which present the greatest hurdles for decarbonising the Australian economy.

We are not yet counting our chickens on this, we’d hate to jinx it: changes to ARENA’s mandate have been unsuccessful before. However, we are hopeful the new government and parliament recognises the challenge industrial decarbonisation presents: around 44% of Australian end-use energy is consumed by industry. Supporting technologies help to decarbonise the industrial sector will not only help to achieve emission reduction targets, it will help to maintain the competitiveness of our local industries, productivity and jobs for the longer term.


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