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Solar Sunshot program consultation now open

In an announcement from ARENA, consultation on the design of the $1 billion Solar Sunshot program announced by the Australian Government in March 2024, has opened today. 

The announcement stated the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), in consultation with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) will be designing the program.

The program aims to accelerate the development of Australia’s solar manufacturing industry, catalyse clean energy industries, and help Australia connect to new global solar supply chains.

ARENA chief executive officer Darren Miller said the consultation process would help ARENA to determine the best approach for delivering the $1 billion package.

ARENA will be accepting written submissions through online forms available on the Sunshot webpage and will be hosting two consultation webinars.

“ARENA will be working closely with industry to design a program that supports innovative and competitive solar PV manufacturing that is critical to securing Australia’s role in the transition to a net zero world,” said Miller.

ARENA has published a consultation paper outlining a proposed structure for the program that could see the program delivered through a series of funding rounds supporting targeted stages of the supply chain.

Miller said, “We’ll be using our deep industry connections and over a decade of experience accelerating Australia’s shift to renewables to ensure the program delivers for industry, communities and all Australians.”

Under the Program, production-linked payments are proposed to be the primary form of financial support. ARENA will also, informed by consultation, assess how capital grant funding or other forms of concessional support can be used to complement production-linked payments to achieve the program objectives.

“There is a credible pathway for building a solar manufacturing industry in Australia. A collaborative and committed approach from government and the private sector gives us the best chance at tackling this challenge,” said Miller.

The consultation will remain open until 31 May 2024. For more information including the consultation paper, webinar dates and submission portal, visit the funding page.

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