Powering the Regions Fund: Do you qualify for a decarbonisation grant?

The Powering the Regions Fund will provide matched funding through competitive grants to assist industry to invest in decarbonisation.

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Following the commencement of the Safeguard Mechanism reforms on 1 July 2023, the Government has released the Program Opportunity Guidelines for the Safeguard Transformation Stream (STS) of the Powering the Regions Fund (PRF).

Safeguard Transformation Stream (STS)

The STS is open to trade-exposed facilities covered by the Safeguard Mechanism to support investments which reduce on-site scope 1 (direct) emissions. The Program Opportunity Guidelines are available on the business.gov.au website and provide details about how to apply, eligibility, merit assessment criteria, the types of activities that can be funded, and the grant assessment process.

Applications for funding under the STS can be submitted from 7 August 2023 at business.gov.au. The current round will remain open to applications throughout 2023 and well into 2024. Eligible applications will be assessed at regular intervals with the first assessment cycle scheduled to commence in September 2023 to assess applications received in August.

Information sessions will be held in mid-August to help potential applicants understand the requirements set out in the guidelines and the process for applying. Sessions will be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth as well as online for those unable to attend in person.

If you have any questions regarding the STS Guidelines, please contact business.gov.au (webchat and email) or call 13 28 46.

Industrial Transformation Stream (ITS)

The $400 million ITS, which will be designed and delivered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is also currently seeking registrations of interest and is expected to open to applications by late 2023.

The ITS will support existing industrial facilities in regional areas to reduce their emissions, in line with Australia’s 2030 targets and in support of reaching net zero by 2050. National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS) facilities located in regional Australia (non-metropolitan regions and Kwinana WA) will be eligible for funding. It will support projects that reduce scope 1 (direct) or 2 (indirect) emissions at relevant sites.

The funding is expected to support trials, demonstrations, and small scale deployments of a wide range of technologies including energy efficiency, electrification, fuel switching, process heat, hybrid renewable energy, bioenergy and common user infrastructure that supports decarbonisation.

The funding is separate to the STS to be administered by the Business Grants Hub.

You can visit the ITS page on the ARENA website to find out more and register your interest in the program.

Critical Inputs to Clean Energy Industries (CICEI)

The CICEI program will be open to the primary steel production, cement/lime, and aluminium/alumina sectors, with the aim of supporting decarbonisation and ongoing domestic production in hard-to-abate sectors which provide critical inputs to the clean energy sector. Program Opportunity Guidelines are being prepared now. If you would like more information, please contact prf@dcceew.gov.au.

Next Steps

In the coming months, the CICEI guidelines will be released (first for primary steel production, then for the cement / lime and alumina / aluminium sector), the STS information sessions will be held, and ARENA will prepare the ITS guidelines.

If you have any questions, or would like to be added to the Powering Regions Fund mailing list, please email prf@dcceew.gov.au.

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