Victoria’s government will help fund emerging energy tech including hydrogen and energy storage

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A technology innovation project in Queensland, Australia, which will create renewable methane at ‘virtual gas wells’ using solar and modular hydrogen electrolysis. Victoria’s EIF could support similar schemes. Image: Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Grant funding is being made available to help commercialise “emerging, innovative and transformative” renewable energy technologies and projects by the state government of Victoria, Australia.

Victoria’s government, led by Daniel Andrews of the Labor Party said on 4 August that the second round of funding from its Energy Innovation Fund has opened for applications. Up to 50% of the cost of eligible projects will be given, with the government expecting requests to support funding of between AU$2 million (US$1.48 million) and AU$20 million per grant.

Green hydrogen, energy storage and renewable biogas were among technology types that could be supported, Andrews’ office said in a press release. While Australia’s federal government has so far been reluctant to set national targets for decarbonisation, Victoria is targeting 50% renewable energy by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Around AU$90 million funding is available from the two rounds of Energy Innovation Fund support, which is part of a wider AU$108 million Energy Innovation Initiative the state budgeted for towards the end of last year.

Round One, which opened in January this year, focused on offshore wind, while this new round is focused on emerging energy technologies. The fund will support technologies and projects as they go through feasibility and pre-investment studies, front-end-engineering design and large-scale pilots and demonstrations. It wants to enable technologies that aren’t commercial yet to reach the market and push technologies that there may be a market for in years to come as the energy transition away from fossil fuels continues.

Applicants must present plans to develop renewables or energy storage projects that will connect to the National Electricity Market within the Victorian region or be located in the state. Generation and / or storage projects should be registered, or intend to register with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) under its scheduled / semi-scheduled category, which typically includes generators with nameplate rating of 30MW or more.

Technology providers must plan to carry out their activities primarily in Australia, meanwhile the opportunity is not limited to electricity technologies or projects, but all applications need to demonstrate the contribution they could make to achieving Victoria’s emissions reduction goals.

“Victoria is already a powerhouse of renewable energy. This funding will support our emerging renewable technology sector, creating jobs and opportunities for Victorians,” Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said.

D’Ambrosio added that Victoria has already created more renewable energy jobs than any other state in Australia and investment in “innovation and pushing the frontiers of this technology” is required to continue that boom in jobs.

“We’d like to hear from international leaders, global businesses and Victorian players to hear what they can do to bring innovation and new technologies to our shores,” D’Ambrosio said.

Programme guidelines, including how to apply, can be found here

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