The adverse effects of climate change have already started to manifest themselves. The harmful gases released from burning fossil fuels create a pocket around the Earth trapping heat and causing global temperatures to rise. According to NASA, since 1880, the average global temperature has increased by 1°Celsius. Interestingly, there has been a sharp increase in global temperatures after 1975, with almost two-thirds of global warming occurring after 1975. Global warming has resulted in a loss of habitable and arable land.
As the temperatures continue to rise, summers will keep getting hotter and the quality of air will decrease. This will have adverse health effects for humans and animals alike. In Australia, there has been a marked increase in temperatures and longer bushfire seasons. It was found that the bushfires that ravaged Australia in 2020 released as much smoke into the atmosphere as a huge volcanic eruption. The bushfires resulted in dozens of deaths and burned 10 million hectares of land. It is further estimated that over a billion animals died. Though Australia is no stranger to bushfires, the last bushfire season came during the country’s worst drought season and a major heatwave. Experts have attributed climate change as the reason for the worsening of natural disasters.
Climate change requires an immediate response from governments and the Australian government is rapidly taking measures to counter its effects. One of the obvious ways of curtailing global warming is to shift towards renewable energy resources. Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is working to make renewable energy more accessible and cost-effective. Since 2012, ARENA has extended support to over 600 projects. The support has been extended in the form of $1.77 billion in grant funding. This allowed the renewable energy industry in Australia to unlock a total investment of $7.75 billion. By developing an expertise in renewable energy sources, ARENA has been able to fund ground-breaking and innovative projects that have led to the increased availability of new renewable technologies through commercialization.
If you are looking to fund a green initiative, Grants Assist can help you secure funding for your next big idea. The funds available through ARENA span from research to large-scale implementation. The agency has played a critical role in increasing the affordability of renewable energy sources and has also strengthened the confidence of investors in these advanced energy projects. A grant is not the only help that prospective grantees can expect to get, as grants are accompanied by guidance on the suitability of the applicant’s proposals and how to make their plan better. There are a host of programs being run by the Australian government, below is a list of programs available.
Advanced Renewables Program (ARP)
ARENA developed the Advanced Renewable Program with the idea of supporting a broad-based range of development of renewable energy projects. The program focuses on the development, demonstration, and pre-commercial deployment of projects that are able to deliver reliable and affordable renewable energy. Through this program eligible businesses can get funding for deploying technologies to produce green energy, ranging from $100,000 to $50 million. For a project to be accepted under this program, it needs to guarantee a high output of energy and a reduction in the cost of green energy.
ARENA introduced this program to reduce the cost of renewable energy, increase the value delivered, improve the commercial readiness of renewable technologies, remove barriers in the adoption of renewable energy, and increase the capacity, skills and knowledge in this sector.
To be eligible for this grant businesses must possess a valid ABN and must have been incorporated under the Corporations Act. Furthermore, the entity must be a Commonwealth entity and be situated in an Australian State or Territory. The application process is a two-step process. The first stage entails an Expression of Interest (EOI), which is followed by a Full Application Stage.
The proposed program should contribute towards the objectives of ARP, however, this does not include research or educating students. Successful applicants are also required to share the knowledge that results from their activities.
The program is currently active and taking applications from prospective businesses and individuals. Eligibility is assessed within two weeks.
ACT Smart Business Energy and Water Program
The Australian Capital Territory has initiated the ACT Smart Business and Energy Water Program which is helping businesses situated in the ACT by extending financial assistance to them in the form of rebates. Under the program, the ACT government would be offering rebates of up to $5,000 to businesses that are looking to upgrade to more water-efficient and energy-efficient technologies. The program is proving to be a great source of help for businesses to lower their operational costs by reducing costs associated with water and energy.
In order to qualify for a rebate under this program, businesses are required to be situated in the ACT. Their annual electricity bills must not exceed $25,000 and they should be employing a maximum of 20 people. If your business is eligible for this program, the ACT government will cover half the cost, up to $5,000, for upgrades to more sustainable and energy-efficient systems for appliances, lighting, refrigeration, cooling or heating, insulation, tapware, and toilets.
Applying for this program requires filling up a Registration Form which the experienced staff at Grants Assist can help you fill. Upon being accepted for the program, an Actsmart Energy Assessor will conduct a test of the energy and water use in your business, and also provide you with a detailed action plan on how you can further improve your water and energy uses. Once the recommendations have been implemented you would be able to claim back 50 per cent of the costs, up to a maximum of $5,000.
Clean Energy Future Fund WA
The government of Western Australia launched the Clean Energy Future Fund in April 2020. Under this program, the WA government seeks to implement clean energy projects throughout WA which have a high public value and those that help the WA government meet its objectives. These objectives include a projected reduction in greenhouse gases in a cost-efficient manner, and designing, deploying, testing and demonstrating projects that will benefit the larger community over a long period of time. This fund focuses on projects that are ready for investment. Under this program, applicants can seek to acquire funding between $250,000 to $4 million, with a total of $16 million available.
To be eligible for this program, the businesses must be Australian and situated in Western Australia. The proposed project should lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gases and should be at the stage of investment. It is also required that the businesses seeking funding should be focused on researching, developing and implementing innovative green energy projects.
To learn more about these programs and many others, get in touch with one of the agents at Grants Assist who would be able to help you out with choosing the best program for your business.