Australia’s main renewables body said the nation “for the first time in years” has a government that’s responsive to the energy transition as it welcomed budget commitments in green energy and hydrogen.
The government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Tuesday said it would spend an extra A$4bn ($2.7bn) on its ambition to turn the nation into a “renewable energy superpower”.
The highest profile pledge is $2bn in production incentives for green hydrogen, a sector in which Australia hopes to be a world leader.
The budget also promises to spur “significant new generation and storage” through the nation’s Capacity Investment Scheme and unveils plans to launch a Guarantee of Origin programme to certify renewable energy and green hydrogen production.
Labor Party leader Albanese when elected a year ago hailed a break with the former government’s lackluster approach to green energy development in a nation seen as having some of the world’s highest-potential sites thanks to excellent wind and solar conditions and wide-open spaces.
The government said its total commitments to renewables have now hit A$40bn.
Australia’s Clean Energy Council (CEC) said the budget amounted to “a substantial down-payment on Australia’s response to the United States Inflation Reduction Act, ensuring Australia remains in the race to become a global clean energy superpower”.
CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said: "The Clean Energy Council has advocated for work to begin on a Clean Energy Superpower Masterplan, and the Federal Government has listened.
"For the first time in years, we have a Federal Government that listens to industry and deeply understands what is required, taking commendable action since coming to power and in this budget.”