Australia Allocates A$1 bn Fund to Boost Domestic Solar Panel Manufacturing

By Editor


To bolster its renewable energy sector and reduce reliance on coal power, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced a A$1 billion ($653 million) fund aimed at expanding domestic solar panel manufacturing.

Anthony Albanese has been increasing expenditure to support the development of new wind, solar, and battery projects since assuming office in 2022. With over A$40 billion already invested, the government aims to elevate the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy grid to 82 percent by 2030, up from the current 40 percent.

“Australia should not be the last link in a global supply chain built on an Australian invention,” remarked Anthony Albanese in a news statement. “We have every metal and critical mineral necessary to be a central player in the net zero transformation, and a proven track record as a reliable energy producer and exporter.”

Despite Australia boasting the highest uptake of rooftop solar panels globally, with one in three homes equipped with them, merely 1 percent of these panels are domestically manufactured. Recognizing this gap, the initiative unveiled by Albanese will encompass production subsidies, grants, and support for manufacturing solar panels at the site of AGL Energy’s former coal-fired Liddell Power Station, one of the country’s leading power producers.

Anthony Albanese emphasized that domestic manufacturing would not only mitigate potential trade disruptions, akin to those encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also safeguard employment opportunities as coal-fired power stations are phased out. “There are other planned closures in the future… we (must) look for opportunities that workers continue to be employed in alternative, high-paying secure jobs,” he stressed.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will play a pivotal role in the implementation of the initiative, overseeing the entire supply chain from ingots and wafers to cells, module assembly, and related components, including solar glass and inverters. ARENA’s involvement underscores the government’s commitment to fostering a robust domestic renewable energy manufacturing sector.

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