Solar Sunshot for our regions

Joint media release with Prime Minister the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy the Hon Chris Bowen MP, NSW Minister for Climate Change and Energy the Hon Penny Sharpe MLC, and NSW Minister for Domestic Manufacturing and Government Procurement the Hon Courtney Houssos MLC.

The Albanese Government’s $1 billion investment in the Solar Sunshot program will supercharge Australia’s ambition to become a renewable energy super power at home and abroad.

The significant new commitment follows today’s introduction of legislation establishing the Net Zero Economy Authority to help catalyse investment in a clean energy future made in Australia’s regions.

Solar SunShot will help Australia capture more of the global solar manufacturing supply chain through support, including production subsidies and grants.

This will help ensure more solar panels are made in Australia, including in the Hunter Region, where the Prime Minister made the announcement at the site of the former coal-fired Liddell Power Station.

While one in three Australian households have solar panels - the highest uptake in the world - only 1 per cent of those have been made in Australia.

In parallel with Solar Sunshot, the NSW Labor Government is delivering the NSW Net Zero Manufacturing Initiative, with the $275 million first round now open to support workers, small businesses, manufacturers and innovators to take advantage of the transformation of our energy grid.

In the second round, the NSW Labor Government will work with industry to leverage government procurement to offer offtake agreements to local manufacturers of renewable products and low carbon materials.

Initiatives like Solar SunShot and the NSW Net Zero Manufacturing Initiative, mean the regions that have long powered this country will continue to prosper in the net zero economy by deepening the industrial; base, largely located in the regions.

The $1 billion federal investment in the Solar Sunshot program builds on over $40 billion of investment committed by the Australian Government to make Australia a renewable energy superpower.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will now work with industry to design and deliver this initiative, along with the Australian Government. 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. The consultation is expected to commence in mid-April.

This complements other processes underway such as the Hydrogen Headstart program also administered by ARENA.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“Australia should not be the last link in a global supply chain built on an Australian invention.

“I want a future made in Australia. And I want a future made in our regions.  Places like the Hunter that have powered our nation for more than a century will power our future.

“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.

“We can also invest in strategic manufacturing capability, particularly in components critical to the energy and economic transition, like solar panels.

“Historically, Australia has been good at going from the mining pit to port, and long may this continue. But the Australian Government will also invest in the path from pit to panels and capture more value for our economy and workforce.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen:

“Australian research helped invent the modern solar panel – today’s announcement is about creating Australian jobs to help manufacture them.

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

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic:

“Solar panels were our idea, we should be making them here and that’s what we’ll do. Aussie know-how is creating Aussie jobs, that’s what a future made in Australia is all about.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe:

“This will see NSW households putting NSW made solar panels on their roofs to deliver long term energy bill savings and a strong domestic renewable manufacturing sector.

“It’s great to be able to align NSW and Commonwealth funding to support clean energy manufacturing, with this fund bolstering our $275 million investment in Net Zero Manufacturing that’s currently open for NSW innovators and businesses.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Minister for Domestic Manufacturing and Government Procurement Courtney Houssos:

“We will leverage our government procurement spend to build in offtake agreements with local solar manufacturers and foster the industry’s growth.

“For every job created in manufacturing there are a further three-and-a-half jobs sustained in the supply chain.

“The NSW Labor Government is committed to rebuilding the domestic manufacturing sector and bringing jobs back to NSW.”