Manufacturing gets $1bn clean technology funding

The Federal Government will push $1 billion in federal funding into the clean technology programs to help manufacturers improve its energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions levels.

Launched yesterday by Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, the Clean Technology Investment Program and the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program forms a key part of the Government’s Clean Energy Future plan, which was announced in July 2011.

Funding ratios for the programs will be tiered according to the size of the grant requested and the size of the applicants business, Combet said.

The Clean Energy Future plan provides transitional assistance for businesses and industry through the $8.6 billion Jobs and Competitiveness Program, the $1.2 billion Clean Technology Program, the $300 million Steel Transformation Plan and the $1.3 billion Coal Sector Jobs Package.

The Clean Technology Investment Program is an $800 million competitive, merit-based grants program to support Australian manufacturers to maintain competitiveness in a carbon constrained economy. This program will provide grants for investments in energy efficient capital equipment and low pollution technologies, processes and products. The Program is targeted at businesses and companies with an annual electricity consumption of at least 300 Megawatt hours or 5 Terajoules of natural gas.

For food and beverage, and metal industry, the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program provide a similar support service for processing companies and metal foundries. This Program is a $200 million competitive, merit-based grants program to support local food and foundry manufacturers to maintain competitiveness in a carbon constrained economy. The Program will provide grants for investments in energy efficient capital equipment and low pollution technologies, processes and products.

Minister for Industry and Innovation, the Chair of Innovation Australia, David Miles said the grants totaling almost $1 billion, would help Australian manufacturers invest in new capital equipment, cut energy use and reduce costs.

Miles said the Programs will encourage businesses to look for opportunities to improve the bottom line through carbon and energy savings.

Innovation Australia is an independent statutory body established to assist with the administration of the Australian Government’s innovation and venture capital programs designed to support industry innovation. It will assist AusIndustry in delivering the Clean Technology Investment Programs and review and consider applications.

“Demand for the program is expected to be strong. In considering applications, Innovation Australia will be looking at how the project will reduce energy use and carbon emissions and the project’s impact on maintaining and improving business competitiveness,” Miles said.

“These programs are about supporting local businesses of all sizes to improve their energy efficiency and improve the sustainability of their own operations.”

AusIndustry will be holding public information sessions as a part of the launch of the Clean Technology Investment Program from March. Registration is required for session attendance.