Prime Minister announces $1 billion Solar Sunshot subsidies and grants scheme 

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced the $1 billion Solar Sunshot subsidies and grants scheme to establish Australia’s domestic solar supply chain.  

Marking the significant pre-budget announcement from the coal-rich region of New South Wales, Mr Albanese stressed that Australia should not find itself as the final link in a global supply chain based solely on an Australian innovation.  

The announcement comes after the initial findings of the groundbreaking $1.2 million Silicon to Solar Study, which was published in February. This study serves as a road map to guide Australia in establishing its own solar industry.  

“This announcement today is, in my view, one of the most consequential that will be made during our tenure, and I take great pride in being a part of it,” Mr Albanese said.  

The announcement was made at the same time as the publication of a Climate Council report urging emissions cuts and a net zero by 2035 with “no excuses”.  

He delivered a speech at the recently shuttered Liddell coal-fired power station, which AGL Energy and SunDrive hope to turn into a solar manufacturing plant.  

PM wants a future made in Australia 

“I want a future made in Australia. I want a future made in our regions. Places like the Hunter, which have powered our nation for over a century, will power our future,” said the Prime Minister.  

“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.  

He said Australia has a historical strength in transitioning resources from mining sites to ports and indicated a government commitment to enhance this process further to ensure more value is captured for the economy and workforce.  

The Prime Minister said: “We have created the innovation and then seen all the value being added offshore.”   

Ninety percent of the world’s solar panels are produced in just one country, China, and then exported worldwide.  

Federal Government will not miss opportunities 

“We missed the opportunities. We are not going to miss the opportunities of this generation. And that is what our support is about,” he said.  

Mr Albanese said the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will consult with industry and the government to design and deliver the Solar Sunshot program and funding.  

ARENA will look at the entire supply chain from ingots and wafers to cells, module assembly and related components, including solar glass, inverters, advanced deployment technology, and solar innovation.  

Manufacturing a crucial technology to shift to net zero 

Federal energy minister Chris Bowen said the $1 billion in funding would create Australian jobs to help manufacture crucial technology to the shift to net zero.  

“We know that the world’s climate emergency is Australia’s job opportunity… $1 bn to support Australian manufacturing in solar technology will help seize that opportunity,” he said.  

The pledge to spend big on solar sovereignty follows legislation establishing a Net Zero Authority, which promotes an “orderly and positive” transition to a decarbonised economy.  

Alongside the federal government announcement, NSW energy minister Penny Sharpe announced that the state Labor government will deliver its own Net Zero Manufacturing Initiative, with a $275 million first round now open.  

A second round will work with industry to leverage government procurement to offer offtake agreements to local manufacturers of renewable products and low-carbon materials. 

There’s no time like the present to switch your business to solar 

The government’s Solar Sunshot subsidies and grants scheme, its Net Zero commitment, and other initiatives over the past few years show that the climate change problem requires urgent attention. And for the government’s goal to succeed, everyone –even businesses, needs to get into the program.  

Now if you’re looking to do your part by switching to solar (or include it in your energy mix) but don’t know how or where to start, our energy management consultants at Leading Edge Energy can guide you. 

Get in touch with us at 1300-852-770 or send us an email at and we’ll help your business explore opportunities that can help you achieve your goals of being more energy efficient, reducing energy costs, and starting on the path to Net Zero.

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