Investment spending on the energy transition jumped 31% year on year in 2022, to USD1.1 trillion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Notably, that strong progress came before initiatives like the US Inflation Reduction Act came into effect. Renewable energy, including wind and solar, remained the leading sector within the transition, rising 17% year on year to USD500 billion. Following on, rising 54% to USD466 billion, were investments in electrified transport including passenger and commercial vehicles as well as charging infrastructure. These investments come at a time when the world is not only seeking to address climate change, but also to bolster energy independence and security.
In Australia, the Albanese government announced in the last Federal Budget plans for new investment in the energy transition and tenders for renewables and storage. The 2023-2024 Budget details the country’s emphasis on energy costs, supply reliability and environmental impacts, and included AUD4 billion in new investments in the energy transition, including:
$600 million to upgrade social housing.
$1 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, providing green finance for residential home electrification and energy upgrades.
$38 million for a Guarantee of Origin scheme to certify renewable energy and green hydrogen production.
Funding for First Nations Community Engagement with green hydrogen development.
The Capacity Investment Scheme.
Significant new generation and storage through the Capacity Investment Scheme.
Confirming budget commitments for the Net Zero Authority and the Small Business Energy Incentive program.
In total, the Budget brings the government’s complete investment into clean energy to around $40 billion, with the PM vowing the government’s intent to mold Australia into a “renewable energy superpower”. Aspirations are all well and good, but the politics of fossil fuels in Australia make that an exceedingly difficult proposition.
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