Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese believes his country can go “toe to toe” even if not “dollar for dollar” with the US on policies to attract investment in renewable energy amid talk of a huge potential funding package.

Albanese was reportedly set to say in a speech delivered on Friday evening that the government “has to be a partner” in Australia’s renewables rollout, “not just an observer.”

“You can see that in the unprecedented investments the United States and the EU and Japan and Korea are making in their industrial bases,” Albanese was quoted by the Australian Financial Review as being set to say in his speech.

“We don’t have to go dollar-for-dollar in our spending, but we can go toe-to-toe on the quality and impact of our policies.”

“In all of this, we must be prepared to think big.”

The speech was to be delivered at a dinner in Hunter Valley, near the city of Newcastle in New South Wales.

Albanese is planning a scheme likely to be a combination of subsidies and co-investment for the renewables sector, reports the Australian Financial Review.

It would be aimed at countering the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed in the US in 2022. The $370bn in subsidies available to renewables and clean tech firms under the IRA – championed by US President Joe Biden – have sucked in clean tech developers and innovators from around the world.

This also caused alarm in Europe, which has seen renewables companies park plans on the continent to set up new facilities in the US instead. The EU passed its own Green Deal Industrial Plan in response to the IRA last year.

Labor’s Albanese was elected as Prime Minister on a green ticket in 2022, ousting his climate-sceptic predecessor Scott Morrison, and pledged to turn Australia into a “renewable superpower”.

Australia’s Clean Energy Council said the reported comments from Albanese are an “encouraging sign for Australia’s future as a clean energy superpower.”

Its chief executive Kane Thornton said that while further details about a response to the IRA have yet to be made public, the government has shown it is “serious about ensuring that Australia’s clean energy transformation isn’t left behind in the global clean energy investment race.”

The government announced last year that the Hunter Region in New South Wales is set to host the country’s newest offshore wind zone.

The Australian offshore wind market has been described as “very hot,” although it suffered a setback recently after a key port plan was ruled as being “unacceptable” due to its impact on local wildlife.