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Renewable Energy Grants

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How to Navigate the Renewable Energy Grants Landscape

We live in a time of rising energy costs and escalating climate change effects, both globally and within Australia. In response to this critical situation, government grants have emerged as a cornerstone initiative in catalysing the critical transition to renewable energy.

I’ll guide you through the renewable energy grants landscape, helping you better understand the opportunities and how to unlock the benefits for your business.

The importance of renewable energy in Australia

So, what’s driving the renewable energy transition, and why is it imperative for Australian businesses to get aligned to more sustainable forms of energy? The answer is threefold.

1. High growth in renewable energy production

Australia has seen immense recent growth in clean energy; government figures indicate an increase of 215% in electricity generation from renewable sources in the decade spanning 2012-2022. Further, in 2022, 32% of Australia’s total electricity generation was from renewable energy sources—a record contribution.

2. Economic contributions on the rise

Employment in renewables is also growing: the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that in the decade to 2018-19, there was a 120% increase in direct FTE employment in the sector; this included 27% year-on-year growth compared to 2017-18.

3. Backed by the Australian Government

Government investment in clean energy is also booming, with the Australian Government allocating a massive $4 billion in the Budget for 2023–24 to support its goal of becoming a renewable energy superpower, including a specific focus on leading the world in hydrogen. So if you aren’t already considering how to align to these initiatives, now is the time to do so.

The opportunity: get to know the ARENA grants

For energy technology innovators, some compelling funding opportunities exist as a result of the government’s commitment to investing in a cleaner future.

The prime example is the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). ARENA grants are aimed at supporting renewable energy projects and specifically focus on innovation, commercialisation and advancement within the renewables sector.

1/3 A snapshot of the ARENA grants eligibility criteria

There are two types of eligibility to navigate if you think your organisation could qualify for an ARENA grant.

  1. Project Alignment: Your project must align with ARENA’s Investment Priorities and Guidelines
  2. Merit Criteria: Applicants must meet specific merit criteria as laid out in the program guidelines.

A link to more information is provided below and you can contact GrantHelper for quick and easy help in developing a grant strategy.

2/3 How your business can benefit from an ARENA grant

Whether you’re a startup, scale-up or mature business, there are many ways your company could leverage renewable energy funding. Here are three different strategies you should consider:

  1. Project funding: ARENA grants can financially assist your business to pilot or scale renewable energy projects
  2. Efficiency gains: You can use funding to help implement energy-efficient solutions
  3. Powering innovation: You could secure an ARENA grant for R&D activities, which can in turn generate opportunities for additional grants.

3/3 Massive investment potential for organisations of all sizes

Since its inception in 2012, ARENA has supported 663 projects with a whopping $2.25 billion in grant funding, which has consequently unlocked almost $9.75 billion in total private investment.

These funds are allocated to a variety of activities, including power system security and strength services. Whether you’re a startup pioneering hi-tech solar, or an educational institution securing significant grants (such as Macquarie University’s School of Engineering), ARENA grants can be a pivotal step in realising your renewable energy aspirations.

Unlock the fast track to success with GrantHelper

While the ARENA grants present a compelling suite of opportunities, navigating the complex application process can quickly lead to overwhelm and burnout. I know from experience that grants of this size can feel like a minefield, where a small misstep can end your success journey.

That’s why GrantHelper offers a range of services to make this a seamless and productive journey for you.

As part of our comprehensive grant application service, we offer a custom toolkit that has been specifically designed and consistently proven to bring success within your reach. A typical submission toolkit may include:

  • A Grant Submission Planner that removes all guesswork and assigns tasks and responsibilities, so nothing gets missed
  • Custom Templates for many of the different components of grant applications, which can include templates for budgets, project plans, support letters, and more.

GrantHelper Pro Tip
The GrantHelper application toolkit is flexible and fully customisable, making it quick and easy to tailor a high-quality application that meets the specific needs and criteria of your target grant.
 

Discover how we achieved significant success in renewable energy grants

I want to share a relevant renewable energy grant success story to show how our grant services can deliver game-changing impacts for your organisation.

GrantHelper Success
GrantHelper was engaged by eleXsys, a Brisbane-based company focused on renewable energy solutions. With our assistance, eleXsys secured a $3.5 million grant under the Recycling and Clean Energy Category of the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI).

This funding proved pivotal in enabling the company to push the boundaries in solar and battery technology, particularly in low voltage areas. Our contribution encompassed not just expertise but also the ability to read between the lines and see the nuances—this is key to crafting a winning grant application.

To fully understand how we assisted eleXsys to take advantage of this highly competitive opportunity, I recommend reading the full case study.  

Using grants in your long-term business strategies

Many people think of grants as immediate financial stimulus, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg—there’s a great deal more value hidden beneath the surface.

Most businesses don’t realise they can use grants as part of a long-term strategy, but this is where grants can bring you real and ongoing impacts by helping you establish a sustainable and profitable operation.

And there are many other ways grants are disbursed and leveraged. Consider the following examples and how your business could align itself to these long-term visions.

  • The Australian Government uses grants to drive both ecological and economic sustainability, with one example being the Reef Trust, which has received over $3.2 billion in funding to nurture the long-term health of the Great Barrier Reef. Similarly, the Climate Solutions Fund is another pillar of landscape and environmental sustainability.
  • Complementing these efforts, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is helping to transform our renewable energy landscape. Managing grants worth $2.1 billion, ARENA has a proven track record in ushering in innovative solutions like hydrogen technologies, microgrids, and ZEVs.
  • The 2023-24 Federal Budget unveiled a $4 billion investment plan aimed at turning Australia into a global superpower in renewable energy. Investment of this level not only reinforces the nation’s long-term sustainability agenda but also provides lucrative opportunities for businesses to align with renewable energy initiatives.

Bookmark this: Top tips to apply the right way

When it comes to applying for renewable energy grants, being prepared will make all the difference. Here are some proven best practices:

1. Do your research to avoid wasting time and resources on misaligned grant applications

2. Engage a grant consultant as early as possible in the process; your competitors will be doing likewise

3. Be prepared to share clear, concise, accurate information with your consultant

4. Follow the guidelines religiously; they contain all the answers, though important details are often mired in government-speak. We can help you decode the hidden meanings.

GrantHelper Pro Tip
Discover Your Readiness: Try our FREE Grant Readiness Assessment  to quickly find out if you’re ready to win a grant. This unique resource can’t be found anywhere else and can be completed in just a few minutes.
 

Wrapping-Up

As Australia shifts towards a more sustainable future, renewable energy grants are becoming less of an enticing option and more of a necessity for businesses to remain competitive. We encourage you not to see the complex nature of renewable energy grants as a deterrent. In fact, realising your renewable vision could be just a quick discovery call away.

At GrantHelper, we offer a comprehensive service tailored to guide your business through the grant application process, from picking the right grant, to crafting a compelling submission, follow-ups and more.

Get in touch now to turn your vision into a funded reality.

Resources and help to get a grant

There are many more grants available—check out our finding grants article if you want to get better at discovering grants.

Our Insights showcase some of the grant-winning methods we employ at GrantHelper, and they will help you create a stronger grant application. But no matter how well prepared you are, winning grants takes time—something we know many business owners and directors just don’t have. And that’s why we’re here to help.

GrantHelper can assist with your organisation’s next grant application, no matter what stage of the funding journey you’re at.

I need help applying for grants

Check out our How to Prepare Before You Apply insight to help you reduce the stress levels when you apply for a grant.

Check out our How to write a successful grant application to learn some time-saving tips to make the grant writing process easier.

Our in-depth eBook is the single most valuable resource you will find that helps organisations to truly understand how to win government grants.

A person holding a tablet device displaying the GrantHelper Guide to Winning Grants eBook on its screen.

Download our eBook to discover grant-winning secrets

Our free eBook features 10 chapters of expert advice, professional tips and more to help you do better with grants, whether you’re new to the process or you’ve applied before.

Get your copy of the Guide to Winning Grants now.

Is your business eligible for this government grant? Or perhaps you’re not sure and want to know more?

GrantHelper offers a range of government grant services, helping businesses of all sizes to discover, apply for, and win the best grant opportunities. We can help you with anything from finding the right grants, to writing your application, formulating an ongoing grant strategy, and more.

Get started now by filling in the form below, or tap the ‘Book a Discovery Call’ button to schedule a no-obligation virtual meeting with an experienced government grants consultant.

Check out some of the clients we’ve helped and what they had to say about us.

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What's on my mind

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

I do a lot of thinking and reading around grants, strategy, and funding. I send a monthly newsletter with what’s on my mind on this stuff.

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