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Australian Renewable Energy Grants (ARENA)

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Grants between $100,000 and $50 million to support the affordability of new technologies and to accelerate the development, deployment and commercialisation of renewable energy projects.

What is renewable energy? 

Renewable energy refers to energy generated from natural resources that are replenished naturally over time, such as sunlight, wind, water, and geothermal heat. Unlike fossil fuels, which are finite and produce harmful emissions, renewable energies are sustainable and generally have a lower environmental impact. 

Solar Energy: Solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity. Homes, businesses, and even utility-scale solar farms utilise this technology.

Wind Energy: Wind turbines harness wind power to generate electricity. Wind farms can be found both onshore and offshore.

Hydropower: Dams and water turbines generate electricity by harnessing the kinetic energy of flowing or falling water.

Biomass: Organic material like wood, crop waste, or animal manure can be burned or bioengineered to produce electricity or fuel.

Geothermal: Geothermal plants convert heat from within the Earth into electricity.

Ocean Energy: Technologies like tidal and wave energy harness the ocean’s kinetic energy to produce electricity.

Hydrogen Energy: Renewable hydrogen can be produced using electricity from renewable sources to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This is particularly promising for sectors hard to electrify, like long-haul transport.

These examples show the versatility and applicability of renewable energy in various sectors, from residential to industrial, and they play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. 

Why should you care about renewable energy? 

Renewable energy is pivotal for the human race for several reasons: 

  • Climate Change Mitigation: Renewable energy sources like wind and solar emit little to no greenhouse gases, directly contributing to the reduction of carbon footprints and helping mitigate climate change, 
  • Sustainability: These energy sources are replenished naturally at a rate faster than they are consumed, ensuring long-term sustainability, 
  • Health Benefits: Renewable energy provides substantial benefits for our health by reducing air pollution, which is often caused by the burning of fossil fuels, 
  • Economic Stability: Renewable energy can lower energy prices and is less susceptible to the boom-and-bust cycles often associated with fossil fuels, 
  • Accessibility: Most renewable energy sources are readily available and, in many cases, cheaper than fossil fuels, making them accessible to a wider population, 
  • Environmental Protection: Utilising renewable energy can also protect natural habitats and biodiversity, as it generally has a lower environmental impact. 

By integrating more renewable energy into our lives, we are actively participating in creating a safer, cleaner, and more sustainable future. 

Ever wondered what’s the status of renewable investment in Australia and globally? 

Investment in renewable energy is showing promising trends both in Australia and globally. 

  • Investor Confidence: A MinterEllison report indicated that almost 74% of global and domestic investors are confident in investing in renewable assets in Australia, 
  • Capacity Growth: The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that by 2027, Australia’s renewable energy capacity will expand by 85%, reaching 40 gigawatts, thanks to ambitious policies, 
  • Policy Impact: The current Australian government is promising positive changes for the clean energy workforce, and continues to follow previous governments in supporting the renewable energy sector through generous budget allocations for grant funding, 
  • Global Investment: Australia is considered one of the world’s most attractive destinations for renewable energy investments, with more than 10% of their energy finance dedicated to renewables. 

The renewable energy landscape is positive, and the momentum is building for an enhanced renewable future. 

GrantHelper and Renewable Energy Grants 

The renewable energy sector is a vibrant and increasingly important area of economic activity, not only for environmental sustainability but also for driving technological innovation and creating jobs. In Australia, this is particularly true given the country’s vast resources in solar, wind, and wave energy. 

As a grant consultant assisting businesses to secure government grants, the renewable energy sector offers numerous opportunities. Governments at various levels are beginning to provide grants and incentives to spur development in this area.  

Solar Energy: Solar has become much more efficient and cost-effective in the last few years. Companies are also looking at innovative solutions like floating solar farms.

Wind Energy: Offshore wind farms are gaining traction, as they can produce energy more consistently than their onshore counterparts.

Battery Technology: The efficiency of energy storage solutions is pivotal for the broader adoption of renewable energy. Grants for R&D in this area could be available to emerging technologies.

Microgrids and Localised Energy Production: There’s a move towards decentralisation, allowing communities to produce and manage their own energy.

Energy Efficiency: Not strictly ‘renewable energy,’ but closely related, grants are also available for projects that aim to improve energy efficiency in industrial settings, homes, or transportation.

Hydrogen Economy: Though still in its infancy, hydrogen is being looked at as the future of clean energy, and there are significant grants available in this area.

Policy and Regulation: As this is an evolving field, policies and grants are constantly updated. A keen eye on policy shifts can provide a first-mover advantage for grant applications.

I’m passionate about helping my clients succeed when it comes to grants. Staying abreast of trends and grant opportunities in the renewable energy sector is one way I could add a lot of value to your organisation. I invite you to stay connected through subscribing to my weekly grant news service.  

GrantHelper Success
GrantHelper assisted eleXsys R&D based in Queensland secure a $3.5 million manufacturing modernisation initiative grant to fund onshoring the production of their patented energy management system. Check out the story on our client showcase page

ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) programs 

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) serves as a linchpin for the renewable energy sector in Australia. Established on July 1, 2012, its primary purpose is to accelerate the country’s shift towards affordable and reliable renewable energy. Governed by the ARENA Act, the agency aims to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia. Its value proposition lies in its structured approach to funding activities that are expected to advance renewable energy technologies, integrating them into cross-sector value chains. By catalysing investments into clean energy projects and technologies, ARENA plays a complementary role to other funding bodies, bridging gaps in the market and facilitating the commercialisation and development of renewable solutions for the community. 

ARENA renewable grant programs that GrantHelper can assist you with 

At GrantHelper, we specialise in navigating the complexities of ARENA’s renewable grant programs. From development and demonstration projects to pre-commercial deployments, we can help you identify the right ARENA grant funding opportunities and guide you in building compelling grant applications to maximise your chances for success.

Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Program 

Grants up to $5 million for large energy users to undertake engineering and feasibility studies to identify opportunities to lower energy costs and reduce emissions. 

1. The Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Program (the Program) aims to support feasibility
and engineering studies and associated metering which can enable an investment decision in energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for industrial processes.

2. The Program seeks studies investigating the use of technologies which will:

  1. deliver a transformational improvement in industrial energy efficiency as compared to business
    as usual energy use; and/or
  2. deliver a transformational increase in renewable energy use as compared to business as usual
    energy use; and
  3. deliver transformational reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below business as usual emissions, and
  4. demonstrate high replicability potential across similar industrial settings.

 

3. Proposals can currently be submitted in one of the following Streams:

  1. Feasibility Studies (Stream A): eligible for grant funding up to $500,000 per Study
  2. Engineering Studies (Stream B): eligible for grant funding up to $5 million per Study

 

4. The funding allocated for Stream A and Stream B is up to a total amount of $43 million. This amount may be reduced or increased at ARENA’s discretion.

5. Studies may address:

  1. existing facilities (retrofit) or new low-emission facilities (new build);
  2. a single site;
  3. a single technological solution across:
    1. a single organisation with multiple sites, or
    2. a multi-tenanted precinct;
  4. a group of sites with similar processes and equipment; or
  5. Scope 1 and/or Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions

 

6. To be eligible for funding under the Program, Applicants should, at the time of applying and for the life of the Study, hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be one of the following:

  1. an Australian entity incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth);
  2. an Australian State or Territory owned corporation or a subsidiary of an Australian state or territory owned corporation; or
  3. an Australian local government or council.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Driving the Nation Program 

Grants up to $15 million to support business fleets, new technologies for heavy and long-distance vehicles, public charging and hydrogen refuelling stations and smart charging. 

1. The Driving the Nation Program (the Program) is delivered by the Australian Renewable Energy
Agency (ARENA). The Program is focused on accelerating the uptake of Zero Emission Vehicles
(ZEVs). ZEVs include Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles and biofuel
vehicles.
2. The Program Objectives are to:

  1. Overcome barriers to accelerate uptake of ZEVs by fleets.
  2. Optimise the integration of BEVs into the grid (including smart chargers) to ensure cost
    effective outcomes.
  3. Demonstrate new use cases for ZEVs, and highlight opportunities for ZEVs to provide value.
  4. Increase skills, capacity and knowledge relevant to ZEV technologies.

 

3. The Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Driving the Nation Program focus areas
(Program Focus Areas) and any Funding Announcements published on the Program webpage at
arena.gov.au/funding/driving-the-nation-program.

4. The Program will fund demonstration and deployment projects. ARENA funds cannot be used to fund upfront vehicle costs and operating costs for Light Vehicles, including passenger vehicles, SUVs or light commercial vehicles (e.g. vans and utes). However, ARENA funds can be used to fund enabling infrastructure, including charging infrastructure, necessary electrical upgrades and managed charging costs, and support the acquisition of Heavy Vehicles.

5. The total funding allocated for the Program is up to the total amount of funds uncommitted and
available under the Program to be delivered by ARENA under the 2022-23 Budget Measure titled
Powering Australia – Driving the Nation Fund. The total funding allocated for the Program may be
reduced or increased at the discretion of ARENA. Remaining available funding will be updated
regularly and displayed on the Program webpage at arena.gov.au/funding/driving-the-nationprogram.

6. The application and assessment process for the Program will involve two stages: an Expression of
Interest (EOI) and a Full Application stage. Both stages involve an assessment against all Eligibility
and Merit Criteria. Part 2 of these Guidelines provides further details on the application process.

7. These Guidelines describe the procedures and requirements of ARENA to determine which applications will receive funding. You should take note of these procedures and requirements before making a Proposal.

8. ARENA may award Grant funding to eligible Applicants on the basis of an individual Merit Criteria
assessment, as set out in Part 4 of these Guidelines. The four Merit Criteria will be equally weighted,
and are as follows:

  1. Merit Criterion A: Contribution to the Program Objectives
  2. Merit Criterion B: Applicant capability and capacity
  3. Merit Criterion C: Project design and methodology
  4. Merit Criterion D: Financial viability and co-funding commitment

 

9. All successful Applicants will be required to share data and knowledge from their Projects under
Eligibility Criterion G. ARENA’s requirements are outlined in items 3.13, 3.14, 5.16 and 5.17 of these
Guidelines. The Knowledge Sharing Plan will form part of the Funding Agreement.

10. The Applicants should also meet other applicable requirements described in these Guidelines, including compliance with relevant legislative requirements (see items 6.15 to 6.17).

11. All applications must be completed online using ARENA’s Grants Management System, ARENANet, which is accessible from the Program webpage arena.gov.au/funding/driving-the-nation-program.

12. ARENA will review and assess applications as they are submitted on an ongoing basis, until all funds available under the Program are exhausted or these Guidelines are revoked. ARENA expects assessment of applications to occur on a bi-monthly basis however this timing may be shortened or extended as determined by ARENA.

13. ARENA will assess applications against the Merit Criteria, but will not undertake a comparative
assessment of applications unless applications are part of a specified Targeted Round. ARENA may take a portfolio approach in deciding which applications to fund.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Regional Microgrids Program 

Grants up to $25 million supporting renewable energy microgrids across regional Australia, one stream for First Nation Communities and another focused on innovation and resilience. 

1. The Regional Microgrids Program (RMP) (the Program) is delivered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) under the following two funding streams:

  1. Stream A: Regional Australia Microgrid Pilots; and
  2. Stream B: First Nations Community Microgrids.

 

For the purposes of the Program, the meaning of the term Microgrid can be found in the Glossary.

2. The total funding allocated for the Program is $125 million (Total Funding Allocation). It is expected that $50 million will be allocated under Stream A, and $75 million will be allocated under Stream B.

3. The purpose of these Program Guidelines is to describe the procedures to be followed by Applicants and the criteria applied by ARENA in determining which Applications will receive ARENA grant funding.

4. Under the Program, the application and assessment process will consist of two stages: an Expression of Interest (EOI) stage and a Full Application stage. Both stages involve an assessment against all Eligibility Criteria and Merit Criteria.

5. Only Applications that meet the Eligibility Criteria, outlined in Part 3, will be assessed under the Merit Criteria. ARENA will review and assess applications on an ongoing basis, until all funds available under the Program are exhausted or these Guidelines are revoked.

6. ARENA will award Grant funding to eligible Full Applications based on an individual Merit Criteria
assessment.

7. All Applications must be completed online using ARENA’s Grants Management System, ARENANet, which is accessible from the Program webpage on ARENA’s website arena.gov.au.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Community Batteries Funding 

Grants up to $20 million to support deployment of community batteries to lower energy bills, cut emissions and ease pressure on the local electricity grid. 

The October 2022 Federal Budget provided $200 million for the Community Batteries for Household Solar Budget Measure (Budget Measure) to deploy 400 community batteries across Australia. Of this, $171 million was allocated to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to deliver at least 342 batteries.

This Funding Announcement sets out the process under which ARENA seeks proposals to deliver community battery Projects under the Advancing Renewables Program (ARP). This process is referred to as the Community Batteries Funding Round 1 (Round 1).

This should be read in conjunction with the ARP Guidelines, which apply to Round 1. Definitions contained in the ARP Guidelines also apply to this Funding Announcement, unless otherwise provided.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Advancing Renewables Program 

Grants up to $50 million for technologies that optimise the transition to renewable electricity, commercialise clean hydrogen and support the transition to low emissions metals. 

(a) The Advancing Renewables Program (the Program) is delivered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
(b) The total funding allocated for the Program is up to the total amount of funds uncommitted and available under s64 of the Australian Renewable Energy Act 2011 (as amended) (the ARENA Act).

  • The application and assessment process typically consist of two stages: an Expression of Interest (EOI) stage and a Full Application stage. Both stages involve an assessment against all eligibility and merit criteria.

 

(c) At both stages:

  • Proposals must meet eligibility criteria (see Part 2), and only those Proposals that do so will be
    further assessed
  • Eligible Proposals will be assessed against merit criteria (see Part 3).

 

(d) The Program Guidelines describe the procedures and requirements used by ARENA to determine which Proposals will receive funding. You should take note of these procedures and requirements
before making a Proposal.

(e) All Proposals must be completed online using ARENA’s Grants Management System, ARENANet, which is accessible from the Program webpage on ARENA’s website arena.gov.au.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Future Fuels Program 

Grants to fund projects that support the integration of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) into transport fleets and the commercialisation of hydrogen as a transport fuel. 

1. The Future Fuels Fund (the Fund) was delivered by ARENA through a series of competitive and open funding rounds. The Fund complements the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) charging infrastructure projects previously funded by ARENA.

2. The Fund is designed to reduce barriers to businesses and fleets to choose new vehicle technologies in the road transport sector through vehicle and infrastructure trials, electrical upgrades and commercialising the public charging industry.

3. The Fund will invite industry to bring forward co-investment proposals that:

  • encourage BEV uptake by increasing the national public BEV charging network;
  • reduce barriers to greater transport use of hydrogen and biofuels through co-investing in refuelling infrastructure; and
  • leverage ARENA investment with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), private sector, and State and Territory governments to maximise co-investment in projects that have national benefits.

 

4. These Guidelines have been issued for Round 1 of the Fund. Round 1 will support installation of networks of BEV Fast Charging Stations (Projects) that address “blackspots” which are areas that do not currently have convenient access to Fast Charging Stations. Given the current early stage of the BEV industry, there are many blackspots within Australia’s large urban and adjacent regional areas. The objective of Round 1 of the Fund (Round 1 Objectives) is to address blackspots by improving the availability of public BEV Fast Charging Stations which will support BEV uptake by the public and businesses, including fleets.

5. Future rounds of the Fund will have a broader focus, such as supporting other future fuels including hydrogen and biofuels, as well as reducing barriers for other road transport users such as commercial fleets, trucks and buses.

6. The funding allocated for Round 1 is up to a total funding amount for all Projects of $16.5 million
allocated across Geographic Zones. This amount may be reduced or increased at the discretion of the ARENA Board.

7. To satisfy the Project eligibility requirements of Round 1, Fast Charging Stations are only permitted to be sited in the selected Geographic Zones outlined in Table 1 with definitions for each Geographic Zone outlined in Appendix B. Each Geographic Zone includes a population over 200,000 (with the exception of Darwin), and the Geographic Zones are spread across all States and Territories, and together, cover approximately 80% of Australia’s population.

8. Applicants will be expected to maximise the number of Fast Charging Stations and coverage in each Geographic Zone. In addition, Applicants will need to install a minimum number of Fast Charging Stations in the relevant Satellite Areas included in a Geographic Zone. The Geographic Zones and relevant Satellite Areas are described in Table 1 (e.g. the Satellite Areas for Greater Sydney are Wollongong, Central Coast and Newcastle).

9. It is a mandatory requirement of Round 1 that each Fast Charging Station have at least two designated BEV charging bays and be capable of charging two cars concurrently at 50kW or above.

10. Applicants must request the Available ARENA Grant specified in Table 1 for the selected Geographic Zone and nominate the location and number of Fast Charging Stations that they propose to install in that Geographic Zone.

11. In the larger Geographic Zones, it is intended that the total funding allocation will be split equally and awarded to two successful funding Applicants. For example, in the Perth Geographic Zone, the total funding allocation of $1.6 million will be divided into two ARENA Grants of $800,000.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Powering the Regions – Industrial Transformation Stream

Funding up to $400 million to support industry in Regional Australia to transition to net zero, and to seize the economic opportunities created by decarbonisation.

1. The Industrial Transformation Stream (the Program) is delivered by the Australian Renewable Energy
Agency (ARENA). The Program is focused on supporting projects that accelerate decarbonisation of
industry in Regional Australia.

2. The Program Objectives are to:

  1. support Industrial Facilities in Regional Australia to reduce emissions in line with Australia’s 2030
    emissions reduction goals and transition to net zero by 2050;
  2. improve technology readiness and commercial readiness of Renewable Energy Technologies, Energy
    Efficiency Technologies and Electrification Technologies that will result in a significant reduction in Scope 1
    and/or Scope 2 emissions and/or improve the energy efficiency of an industrial process or processes;
  3. encourage technology demonstration, collaboration and knowledge sharing across industry and/or
    regions; and
  4. support upskilling of existing industrial workforce in new decarbonisation activities.

 

3. The Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Industrial Transformation Stream focus areas
(Program Focus Areas) and any Funding Announcements published on the Program webpage.

4. The total funding allocated for the Program is up to $400 million, to be delivered by ARENA under the
2023-2024 Budget Measure titled Powering the Regions Fund – final design. The total funding allocated
for the Program may be reduced or increased at the discretion of ARENA

5. The Program will fund feasibility stage projects through to demonstration and deployment stage projects.
In certain circumstances this may be supported through Stage Gated funding, referred to as a Multi-Stage
Funding Mechanism (detailed in Part 5). ARENA reserves the right to remove the Multi-Stage Mechanism
from these Guidelines at its discretion.

6. Projects may target a reduction in Scope 1 and/or Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions through solutions
including, but not limited to, investment in electrification, fuel switching or Energy Efficiency, or critical
enabling infrastructure. ARENA funds cannot be used to fund basic technology research and research to
prove feasibility as detailed in Appendix B.

7. To be considered for funding the Project must have a direct, contractual connection to an eligible Industrial
Facility, which is under the operational control of an entity which meets the Corporate
Group Threshold for reporting under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (Cth)
(NGER Act) in Regional Australia.

8. Funding will be deployed in a series of funding rounds. The nature and duration of each funding round
will be communicated on the Program webpage. Each round will be defined by specific Program Focus
Areas. Program Focus Areas will be published on the Program webpage and may be updated at ARENA’s
discretion.

9. The application and assessment process for the Program will typically involve two stages, an Expression
of Interest (EOI) stage and a Full Application stage, unless otherwise specified. Eligibility and merit will
be assessed at each stage. Part 2 of these Guidelines provides further details on the application and
assessment process.

10. These Guidelines describe the procedures and requirements of ARENA to determine which applications
will receive funding. Applicants should take note of these before submitting an application. Program Focus
Areas and any relevant Funding Announcements should be reviewed as a source for clarification on
eligibility, merit criteria or targeted activities and outcomes beyond these Guidelines.

11. Only EOIs and Full Applications which meet the Eligibility Criteria outlined in Part 3 will be assessed under
the Merit Criteria outlined in Part 4.

12. ARENA may award Grant funding to eligible Applicants on the basis of an individual Merit Criteria
assessment, as set out in Part 4 of these Guidelines. The five Merit Criteria will be equally weighted,
and are as follows:

  1. Merit Criterion A: Contribution to the Program Objectives;
  2. Merit Criterion B: Applicant capability and capacity;
  3. Merit Criterion C: Project design and methodology;
  4. Merit Criterion D: Financial viability and co-funding commitment; and
  5. Merit Criterion E: Knowledge Sharing.

 

13. All successful Applicants will be required to share data and knowledge from their Projects under Merit
Criterion E. ARENA’s expected requirements are outlined in items 4.18 and 4.19 of these Guidelines,
subject to any clarification under specific Program Focus Areas or Funding Announcements at ARENA’s
discretion. The proposed Knowledge Sharing Plan and knowledge sharing outcomes will be assessed for
merit and will form part of the Funding Agreement.

14. All Applicants should also meet other applicable requirements described in these Guidelines, including
compliance with relevant legislative requirements (see items 7.17-18).

15. Funding will be deployed in a series of funding rounds. The nature and duration of each funding round will
be communicated on the Program webpage. Each round will be defined by specific Program Focus Areas.
Future Program Focus Areas will be updated on the Program webpage at ARENA’s discretion.

16. An EOI for ARENA funding under an active round in this Program can be submitted at any time while the
round remains open. The final date for EOI submissions under a round will be displayed on the Program
webpage.

17. ARENA will review EOI applications in regular, batched assessments as indicated on the Program
webpage, with the discretion to assess EOIs more or less frequently depending on the volume of
applications received. Full Applications will typically be assessed on an ongoing monthly basis until
all funds available under the Program are exhausted or these Guidelines are revoked.

18. In addition to the Merit Criteria assessment, ARENA may take a portfolio approach in deciding which
applications to fund as outlined in items 2.26 and 2.27 and consider the overall risk of ARENA providing
funding to the Applicant. Comparative assessment of applications will be considered for applications
specific to a closed competitive process under a Targeted Funding Round (see items 2.31-2.37).

19. All applications must be completed online using ARENA’s grants management system, ARENANet,
which is accessible from the Program webpage.

20. If there is any inconsistency between this Executive Summary and the remainder of the document,
the remainder of the document is to prevail.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

National Industrial Transformation Program


Funding of up to $15 million to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to industrial activity and projects that accelerate decarbonisation of industry.

1. The National Industrial Transformation Program (the Program) is delivered by the Australian Renewable
Energy Agency (ARENA). The Program is focused on supporting projects that accelerate decarbonisation
of industry.

2. The Program Objectives are to:

  1. support Industrial Facilities to reduce emissions in line with Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction goals
    and transition to net zero by 2050;
  2. improve technology readiness and commercial readiness of Renewable Energy Technologies, Energy
    Efficiency Technologies and Electrification Technologies that will result in a significant reduction in
    Scope 1 and/or Scope 2 emissions and / or improve the energy efficiency of an industrial process or
    processes;
  3. encourage technology demonstration, collaboration and knowledge sharing across industry and/or
    regions; and
  4. support upskilling of industrial workforce in new decarbonisation activities.

 

3. The Guidelines should be read in conjunction with any National Industrial Transformation Program
Funding Announcements published on the Program webpage.

4. The total funding allocated for the Program is up to $40 million. The total funding allocated for the
Program may be reduced or increased at the discretion of ARENA.

5. The Program will fund feasibility stage projects through to demonstration and deployment stage projects.
In certain circumstances this may be supported through Stage Gated funding, referred to as a Multi-Stage
Funding Mechanism (detailed in Part 5). ARENA reserves the right to remove the Multi-Stage Mechanism
from these Guidelines at its discretion.

6. Projects may target a reduction in Scope 1 and/or Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions through solutions
including, but not limited to, investment in electrification, fuel switching or Energy Efficiency, or critical
enabling infrastructure. ARENA funds cannot be used to fund basic technology research and research to
prove feasibility as detailed in Appendix B.

7. To be considered for funding the Project must have a direct, contractual connection to an eligible Industrial
Facility.

8. The total grant for a particular project under the Program will not exceed $15 million.

9. The application and assessment process for the Program will typically involve two stages, an Expression
of Interest (EOI) stage and a Full Application stage, unless otherwise specified. Eligibility and merit will
be assessed at each stage. Part 2 of these Guidelines provides further details on the application and
assessment process.

10. These Guidelines describe the procedures and requirements of ARENA to determine which applications
will receive funding. Applicants should take note of these before submitting an application. Any Funding
Announcements should be reviewed as a source for clarification on eligibility, merit criteria or targeted
activities and outcomes beyond these Guidelines.

11. Only EOIs and Full Applications which meet the Eligibility Criteria outlined in Part 3 will be assessed under
the Merit Criteria outlined in Part 4.

12. ARENA may award Grant funding to eligible Applicants on the basis of an individual Merit Criteria
assessment, as set out in Part 4 of these Guidelines. The five Merit Criteria will be equally weighted, and
are as follows:

  1. Merit Criterion A: Contribution to the Program Objectives;
  2. Merit Criterion B: Applicant capability and capacity;
  3. Merit Criterion C: Project design and methodology;
  4. Merit Criterion D: Financial viability and co-funding commitment; and
  5. Merit Criterion E: Knowledge Sharing.

 

13. All successful Applicants will be required to share data and knowledge from their Projects under Merit
Criterion E. ARENA’s expected requirements are outlined in items 4.18 and 4.19 of these Guidelines,
subject to any clarification under any Funding Announcements at ARENA’s discretion. The proposed
Knowledge Sharing Plan and knowledge sharing outcomes will be assessed for merit and will form part of
the Funding Agreement.

14. All Applicants should also meet other applicable requirements described in these Guidelines, including
compliance with relevant legislative requirements (see items 7.17-18).

15. An EOI for ARENA funding under this Program can be submitted at any time while this Program
remains open.

16. ARENA will review EOI applications in regular, batched assessments as indicated on the Program
webpage, with the discretion to assess EOIs more or less frequently depending on the volume of
applications received. Full Applications will typically be assessed on an ongoing monthly basis until
all funds available under the Program are exhausted or these Guidelines are revoked.

17. In addition to the Merit Criteria assessment, ARENA may take a portfolio approach in deciding which
applications to fund as outlined in items 2.25 and 2.26 and consider the overall risk of ARENA providing
funding to the Applicant. Comparative assessment of applications will be considered for applications
specific to a closed competitive process under a Targeted Funding Round (see items 2.30-2.36).

18. All applications must be completed online using ARENA’s grants management system, ARENANet,
which is accessible from the Program webpage.

19. If there is any inconsistency between this Executive Summary and the remainder of the document,
the remainder of the document is to prevail.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Clean Energy Innovation Fund


Support of up to $5 million drawing on CEFC finance and expertise to invest in innovative businesses to accelerate the transition to net zero emissions.

1. CEIF is a venture capital investor focused on clean energy innovation, aiming to accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions.

2. It offers support of up to $5 million, drawing on CEFC finance and expertise, to invest in innovative businesses driving the transition to net-zero emissions.

3. Managed by Virescent Ventures, a specialist climate tech fund manager with a 30% shareholding by CEFC, CEIF aligns companies with climate tech investors to attract more private sector investment into Australian climate tech.

4. CEIF invests in companies with experienced management teams, competitive technology, and potential for domestic and global market application, focusing on debt and equity with a tailored approach.

5. Priorities include clean energy transition, mobility and smart cities, food and agriculture, and circular economy and industry, aiming to achieve significant emissions reduction.

6. Detailed guidelines outline criteria for low emission technologies, focusing on emissions intensity reduction compared to baselines and excluding prohibited technologies like carbon capture and nuclear power.

7.  Companies eligible for CEIF support must demonstrate management capability, technological edge, and potential for global market application, with investments primarily based in Australia.

8.  Interested applicants must thoroughly understand guidelines, ensure eligibility, and deliver complete project information as outlined.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Solar Sunshot

Up to $1 billion to facilitate advancement of the solar PV (photovoltaic) manufacturing supply chain, including the production of polysilicon, ingots, wafers, cells, and modules.

1. The Solar Sunshot Program, managed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is designed to accelerate the development of Australia’s solar PV manufacturing capacity.

2. The program offers substantial financial backing, providing up to $1 billion to support the enhancement of the entire solar PV supply chain, including stages from polysilicon production to solar module assembly.

3. ARENA directs the program in close collaboration with stakeholders and industry experts, integrating extensive feedback to ensure alignment with industry needs and innovation trends.

4. Investment targets include enhancing technological capabilities and building sovereign manufacturing capacity, prioritising scalability and commercial viability for both domestic and global markets.

5. The program focuses on critical supply chain components, aiming to significantly bolster Australia’s role in the global clean energy sector through innovative and sustainable solar technologies.

6. Eligibility extends to Australian entities that can demonstrate advanced project readiness, management capability, and a commitment to sustainability, with a strong emphasis on detailed project proposals and potential market impact.

7. Interested parties are encouraged to engage with the program’s structured consultation process and prepare comprehensive applications according to ARENA’s guidelines, with a clear pathway to commercialization and market entry.

 

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Hydrogen Headstart Program

$2 billion investment to accelerate the development of Australia’s hydrogen industry, catalyse clean energy industries, and help Australia connect to new global hydrogen supply chains.

1. The Hydrogen Headstart Program, managed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), aims to accelerate the development of Australia’s hydrogen industry.

2. The program offers substantial financial backing, with $4 billion allocated to support large-scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts.

3. ARENA directs the program in collaboration with stakeholders and industry experts, integrating extensive feedback to ensure alignment with industry needs and innovation trends.

4. Investment targets include bridging the commercial gap for first mover projects, catalysing clean energy industries, and connecting Australia to global hydrogen supply chains.

5. The program focuses on projects producing hydrogen from renewable energy or derivative products like ammonia or methanol, aiming to position Australia as a leader in the global hydrogen sector.

6. Eligibility extends to Australian-based projects that can demonstrate advanced project readiness, management capability, and a commitment to sustainability, with a strong emphasis on detailed project proposals and potential market impact.

7. Interested parties are encouraged to register for updates and prepare comprehensive applications according to ARENA’s guidelines, with a clear pathway to commercialization and market entry.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund

Funding to fortify Australia’s economy and drive substantial economic growth through strategic investments in clean energy, diversified industries, and enhanced resilience over the next decade.

1. The Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund, as part of a strategic $22.7 billion government initiative, is designed to reinforce Australia’s economic fortitude through targeted investments in clean energy and diversified industries.

2. The fund commits an impressive $16.5 billion over the next decade to foster various projects that enhance productivity and livability across Australia, focusing on key sectors such as renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, and digital innovation.

3. Managed by a consortium including government departments and industry leaders, the FMIAIF operates in strict alignment with the newly established National Interest Framework, ensuring investments meet strategic economic and environmental goals.

4. Investment priorities are centered around boosting technological advancement, enhancing Australia’s manufacturing capacities, and securing the country’s position in the global economic landscape, particularly in the transition to a net-zero emissions future.

5. The fund’s efforts are concentrated on critical and emerging sectors identified within the National Interest Framework, aiming to position Australia as a leader in renewable energy and low-emission technologies on the international stage.

6. Eligibility for funding is broad, encompassing Australian businesses, research institutions, and consortia that demonstrate strong project viability, innovative capabilities, and alignment with national economic and sustainability objectives.

7. Potential applicants are urged to participate in ongoing consultations and prepare robust applications that outline clear objectives, expected outcomes, and pathways to both market and broader societal benefits, in accordance with the fund’s strategic aims.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Battery Breakthrough Initiative

Over $500 million to enhance Australia’s battery manufacturing capabilities, leverage natural resources, diversify global battery supply chains, and support the global transition to net zero.

1. The Battery Breakthrough Initiative (BBI), managed by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources, is designed to accelerate the development of Australia’s battery manufacturing capacity.

2. The initiative offers substantial financial backing, providing over $500 million to support the enhancement of the entire battery supply chain, including stages from raw material extraction to battery assembly and production.

3. The Department directs the program in close collaboration with stakeholders and industry experts, integrating extensive feedback to ensure alignment with industry needs and innovation trends.

4. Investment targets include enhancing technological capabilities and building sovereign manufacturing capacity, prioritizing scalability and commercial viability for both domestic and global markets.

5. The program focuses on critical supply chain components, aiming to significantly bolster Australia’s role in the global clean energy sector through innovative and sustainable battery technologies.

6. Eligibility extends to Australian entities that can demonstrate advanced project readiness, management capability, and a commitment to sustainability, with a strong emphasis on detailed project proposals and potential market impact.

7. Interested parties are encouraged to engage with the program’s structured consultation process and prepare comprehensive applications according to the Department’s guidelines, with a clear pathway to commercialization and market entry.

For the full details about this grant program, click here. 

Register your interest in applying for this grant here. 

Tips on Navigating ARENA’s funding opportunities 

Navigating ARENA’s funding opportunities can be complex, but understanding key success factors can significantly improve your odds.  

Project Relevance: Ensure your project aligns closely with ARENA’s funding priorities like power system security, renewable technology advancement, or system strength services.

Strong Application: The quality of your grant application matters. Make it comprehensive but focused, clearly articulating the benefits, feasibility, and long-term viability of your project.

Expertise and Team: ARENA often looks for strong teams that demonstrate a combination of technical know-how and project management skills.

Financial Viability: Your project should present a strong financial case, ensuring long-term sustainability and impact.

Innovative Factor: Projects that introduce innovative solutions are more likely to get noticed and funded. Whether it’s a new technology or a novel approach to an existing challenge, innovation matters.

Networking: Sometimes, it’s not only just what you know but who you know. Having an advocate or partner who has received ARENA funding before can offer invaluable advice and potentially leverage their network for your benefit.

Regular Updates and Reporting: Once funded, maintaining open communication and delivering regular updates can enhance the relationship for future opportunities.

 

Need assistance with an ARENA grant? 

In all cases ARENA requires potential grant applicants to reach out and connect in advance of embarking on a grant submission. GrantHelper offers a comprehensive range of assistance supporting you with assessing your grant application readiness, establishing the initial ARENA connection and advancing your desired grant application. 

Reach out to GrantHelper to get the ball rolling.

ARENA’s track record of funding projects and its likelihood of sustainability going forward 

Since its inception on July 1, 2012, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has allocated funding as follows: 

  • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011 initially allocated $2.5 billion in funding from 2012 to 2020, 
  • As of March 28, 2023, ARENA has successfully signed off on a total of $2 billion in funding since its establishment, 
  • In addition to this, since 2012, ARENA has supported 543 projects with $1.58 billion of funding, which has leveraged nearly $5 billion in private and public investments

It’s important to note that ARENA’s funding allocations have evolved over the years, and there have been updates and changes to its budget. For instance, there’s mention of a $1.4 billion allocation over twelve years from 2020-21 in federal budget papers, and more recently, there’s a budget allocation of $146.1 million from 2023 to 2024.  

There is no doubt that ARENA is proving valuable to driving investment in the renewable energy sector and is here to stay and has well and truly garnered support from all political parties. 

ARENA resources

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Hi, I’m Steve Dowling – founder of GrantHelper. I’m a former champion of marketing and export business development turned business builder.

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