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WA puts A$60m on table for new energy investments

17th November 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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The Western Australian government has announced a A$134-million funding boost to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and drive job opportunities in clean energy industries.

The funding package includes A$74-million towards new initiatives to reduce the state’s GHG emissions and a new A$60-million Investment Attraction Fund (IAF) to drive investment into new energy projects.

The A$60-million IAF new energy industries round opened on Thursday, offering funding for projects in battery and critical minerals processing, renewable hydrogen, advanced manufacturing in wind and solar componentry, along with carbon capture use and storage projects.

The IAF has previously supported energy industry projects across the state, including a high-purity alumina plant for high-tech battery cells, a renewable diesel biorefinery, an electrolyser and hydrogen refuelling station network, and an advanced solar manufacturing facility.

"WA has the potential to become a global renewable energy powerhouse - not only meeting our own net zero targets, but helping our neighbours to transition away from coal to cleaner energy sources.

"We're backing local industry to take advantage of the incredible opportunities in the energy transition - from battery assembly and manufacturing to hydrogen production and critical minerals processing,” said Premier Roger Cook.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) CEO Rebecca Tomkinson commented that the injection of A$60-million to the IAF and A$74-million to the Western Australia government’s sectoral emissions reduction strategies were positive steps towards industry, government, the community and businesses working collaboratively on mapping out a net zero future.

However, she said in the lead-up to the WA Energy Transition Summit, CME was again calling for action from the government to lay the groundwork and outline a clear plan for this transition.

“I’ve said before that the path to net zero runs through WA. I’d go so far as to say there is no net zero without WA,” Tomkinson said.

“We have the resources, critical minerals and rare earths to meet global demand at scale, but governments must work with industry to ensure the pathways are clear for project development.

“The A$60-million IAF New Energies Industries round is a welcome step to encourage investment in projects such as critical mineral and rare earths processing, renewable energy technologies and emissions capture. However, further investment by the WA government will be required, most critically to provide certainty of access to low emissions, affordable and reliable energy but also in unlocking further project-ready land.

“If the WA government can attract investment in the sorts of projects that will see us meet global demand – and at the same time remove red tape, create a more efficient approvals process and clarify regulatory framework for the industry – WA will be well positioned to leverage the incredible opportunities presented by the energy transition.”

Tomkinson said the addition of A$74-million into the sectoral emissions reduction strategies would hopefully support emissions reduction pathways across the Western Australian economy. 

“The industry – and the community in general – wants to see the map. They want to know how the WA government will navigate the energy transition and what we all need to do to achieve 2030 and 2050 net zero targets,” she said.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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