The Government’s Clean Energy Future plan, aimed at assisting business transition to a carbon price economy, is expected to breathe new life into Australia’s struggling manufacturing sector.
Speaking to industry leaders who chair his advisory committees, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said that Clean Energy Future will support Australian jobs by assisting businesses to transform industries to prosper in a low carbon economy.
“The low carbon economy is a chance to rejuvenate Australian manufacturing and generate new Australian jobs. It will complement other important reforms like the new R&D Tax Credit,” Senator Carr said.
“The $1.2 billion Clean Technology Program, for example, will support manufacturers to identify and implement technologies that will improve their energy efficiency.”
Senator Carr said programs like the Clean Technology Focus for Supply Chains and the Steel Transformation Plan will support jobs and keep Australian industry strong by providing them with incentives to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency.
“Manufacturers will respond to the carbon price by improving their production and resource efficiency and by innovating to develop low carbon products and technologies to maintain competitiveness in a changing global environment,” Senator Carr said.
“Simply doing nothing is not an option, by seizing the opportunities and seizing the advantages offered under the Clean Energy Future programs Australian businesses will be able to lead the world in developing technologies for a cleaner, greener future.”
Senator Carr said, apart from programs focused on steel manufacturing and the food and foundry sectors, manufacturing would receive transitional adjustment assistance totaling $800 million over seven years under the Clean Technology Investment Program.
Additionally, the $200 million five year Clean Technology Innovation Program will support research, development and commercialisation of clean technology products, processes and services to support innovation in industry.
The Government’s Clean Energy Future plan involves the following initiatives:
Clean Technology Program
The $1.2 billion Clean Technology Program will provide support for manufacturers through the following three components.
While a carbon price will provide incentives for these manufacturers to reduce energy consumption, the Government will also help manufacturing businesses identify and implement technologies that will improve energy efficiency and reduce their exposure to changing electricity prices.
1. Clean Technology Investment Program
The $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program will provide grants to manufacturers to support investments in energy efficient capital equipment and low ‑pollution technologies, processes and products. These grants will provide practical assistance and support the incentives created by the carbon price to improve energy efficiency or use energy from cleaner sources.
2. Clean Technology – Food and Foundries Investment Program
Special assistance will be provided to the food processing, metal forging and foundry industries. These industries are trade‑exposed and have somewhat higher exposure to energy costs than general manufacturing businesses.
Through the Food and Foundries Investment Program, the Government will provide grants worth up to $150 million over six years to the food processing industry and up to $50 million over six years to the metal forging and foundry industries. The grants will assist the industries to invest in energy‑efficient equipment and low‑pollution technologies, processes and products.
3. Clean Technology Innovation Program
The Government will provide an additional $200 million over five years for grants to support business investment in research and development (R&D) in the areas of renewable energy, low‑pollution technology and energy efficiency. This funding will be in addition to the broader R&D Tax Concession and will help Australian businesses creatively work towards a clean energy future.
Clean Technology Focus for Supply Chains
The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research currently administers programs to provide advisory and other non‑financial assistance to businesses. These include the Industry Capability Network, Supplier Advocates and Enterprise Connect.
The Government will provide an additional $5 million over four years for the delivery of these programs to small and medium businesses in clean technology industries. This will enhance the clean technology focus of industry supply chains, which will help local businesses secure contracts for major projects.
Steel Transformation Plan
The Steel Transformation Plan will support innovation, investment, and production in the Australian steel manufacturing industry. In a greener economy, this will help the industry transform, become increasingly efficient and economically sustainable. The aim is to improve environmental outcomes and reduce the carbon footprint of the steel manufacturing industry.
The Government has allocated $300 million to the plan over the first four years of a carbon price.
Existing climate change programs
In addition to the above programs announced under the Clean Energy Future package, the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, already has a number of existing initiatives to assist business and industry address the impacts of climate change.
Find out more on the introduction of a carbon price and programs to help small businesses transition by visiting the Clean Energy Future website.
Information about Clean Energy Future initiatives is also available from the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research website.
Visit Grants and Assistance Finder to find out what forms assistance are available to help your business become more environmentally friendly.
Information sourced: Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research