Clean energy Budget a "step in the right direction"

Tuesday, 23 May, 2023

Clean energy Budget a "step in the right direction"

With $4 billion in funding commitments from the federal Budget, Australia’s clean energy sector is celebrating this “step in the right direction”. Following the launch of the Energy Next agenda, the speakers have given their opinions on the Budget.

Kate Thornton, Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, said the Budget “recognises the crucial role of clean energy in Australia’s economic future”.

Mark Croudace, Deputy CEO & Chief Commercial Officer at MGA Thermal, labelled the Budget an “enabler” for decarbonisation, building Australia’s capacity to export solutions and generate significant manufacturing jobs.

A goal of the Budget is for Australia to become a clean energy ‘superpower’, which Gavin Dietz, CEO of Wattwatchers Digital Energy, labelled a “great ambition”, saying that Australia will win globally by first focusing clean energy on households, businesses and communities.

Many of the initiatives will help answer some of the major challenges that Australia has as it transitions to net zero, such as the skills shortages, but some of the speakers thought that what has been proposed is not a total solution.

SMA Australia Business Development Manager Andros Cadavid said funding will not address the skills shortage and a big educational initiative will be needed for that.

The experts were asked whether they thought the proposed initiatives around electrification and energy performance upgrades went far enough, to which Jay Shivakumar, Principal, Energy Transformation Services from Cossill & Webley, said, “Electrification is a real positive step and the support for that is great. What is required is an incentive similar to what was provided for solar PV, to subsidise the installation of residential battery systems, which also requires that systems incorporate smart controls to connect to the state utilities systems to allow for control of the distributed energy resources. To orchestrate the systems to create a virtual power plant, create load or generation to support the network.”

The topic of electric vehicles (EV) and EV infrastructure was one the speakers also discussed.

Rosemary Tan, i-Charge Solutions Managing Director, said in addition to a fuel-efficiency standard, the government should adopt international EV charging standards such as OCPP and OCPI. People will adopt EVs with financial incentive, good functionality and good management from a loading perspective.

The speakers agreed that these initiatives were a step in the right direction and that is an exciting time for clean energy.

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