Consultation open for Solar Sunshot program


Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

Consultation open for Solar Sunshot program

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has confirmed that consultation has opened on the design of the $1 billion Solar Sunshot program announced by the Australian Government in March 2024.

ARENA, in consultation with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW), will design the program, which aims to accelerate the development of Australia’s solar manufacturing industry, catalyse clean energy industries and help Australia connect to new global solar supply chains.

ARENA has published a consultation paper outlining a proposed structure for the program that could see it delivered through a series of funding rounds supporting targeted stages of the supply chain.

Under the program, production-linked payments are proposed to be the primary form of financial support. ARENA will also, informed by consultation, assess how capital grant funding or other forms of concessional support can be used to complement production-linked payments to achieve the program objectives.

ARENA will be accepting written submissions through online forms available on the Sunshot webpage and will host two consultation webinars. CEO Darren Miller said the consultation process would help ARENA to determine the best approach for delivering the $1 billion package.

“ARENA will be working closely with industry to design a program that supports innovative and competitive solar PV manufacturing that is critical to securing Australia’s role in the transition to a net zero world,” he said. “The scale at which solar needs to be deployed to meet our climate targets means that we cannot rely solely on importing solar panels from overseas. Australia can drive a greater role in PV production to make our supply chain less vulnerable.

“We’ll be using our deep industry connections and over a decade of experience accelerating Australia’s shift to renewables to ensure the program delivers for industry, communities and all Australians.

“There is a credible pathway for building a solar manufacturing industry in Australia. A collaborative and committed approach from government and the private sector gives us the best chance at tackling this challenge.”

The consultation remains open until 31 May 2024. For more information, including the consultation paper, webinar dates and submission portal, visit the funding page.

Image credit: iStock.com/matguato

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