Australia’s government announced that it would invest $1.1 billion (A$1.6 billion) to build renewable power hubs all over Victoria state. This investment is in the Victorian budget for the financial year 2020/2021. This investment is expected to decarbonize the power system, promote power grid infrastructure, support more solar in homes, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The government also intends to create more jobs with this investment and reduce energy costs to Victorian households.
Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, said that they are trying to recover the economy from the Covid-19 crisis with renewables. Lily added that renewable energy is reliable and will save Victorian families some money and give tens of thousands of jobs.
Lily also said that this is a three-in-one investment. First, it will help find out renewable power zones, create local jobs, decrease energy costs, and handle climate change. $395 million (A$540 million) is the amount the state has allocated in its budget to create six Renewable Energy Zones and $9.2 million (A$12.6 million) to bring over 600 MW of clean power online via 2nd renewable power auction.
The investment will produce clean power to serve over 350,000 homes and power local manufacturing companies. $79.1 million (A$108 million) has been allocated by the government to aid Victoria in hydrogen projects and transition to renewable power.
$19.7 million (A$27 million) will be given to local communities to establish power projects like neighbourhood batteries, microgrids, and renewable power projects, owned by the community. Also, $15.3 million (A$40 million) is set aside to help finance community groups install energy storage, renewable power systems and improvement of power efficiency at community buildings.
There is more funding that is allocated to help in setting up fast-charging station networks for EVs (electric vehicles). These charging stations will be built on key tourist attraction destinations and main highways. The government has given $583 million (A$797 million) for the household energy package. These funds are meant to assist Victorian residents to decrease their power bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
Businesses will not be left out either. They have received grants worth $29.2 million (A$40 million) to install smart, efficient, and reliable technologies that will help promote their productivity and decrease power bills. The government has also allocated $139.8 million (A$191 million) for expanding the Solar Homes Programme.