$1 Billion Australian Clean Technology Investment Programs Launched

The Gillard Government today launched its Clean Technology Investment Programs – $1 billion in funding for manufacturers to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Combet has officially launched the competitive, merit-based $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program and the $200 million Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program; along with changes to the program’s original co-contribution requirements to make the initiatives more attractive to small and medium sized companies.
The Clean Technology Investment Program is geared towards firms with an annual electricity consumption of at least 300 Megawatt hours or 5 Terajoules of natural gas.
Examples of eligible projects could include:
– supporting the development of products and implementation of technologies to reduce energy use and/or carbon emissions at manufacturing facilities;
– process re-engineering involving the adoption of energy or carbon efficient manufacturing;
– investing in cogeneration plants;
– improved design in production systems;
– reducing unnecessary usage;
– waste heat recovery;
– intelligent lighting, including improved lighting design; 
– improved electrical motor efficiency;
Solar energy related projects may be eligible.
Appearing to operate under similar lines in terms of eligible projects; the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program supports food and beverage processing firms and metal foundries. 
Previously, funding for both programs was to be based on a co-investment of $3 for each $1 of government funding. Under the new arrangement, manufacturers with turnovers of less than $100 million applying for funding under $500,000 will now only have to match the government grants on a dollar for dollar basis. 
For grants under $10 million, applicants will be required to contribute $2 for every $1 and for grants above $10 million, applicants will be expected to make a co-contribution of at least $3 for each $1 of Government support.
Information sessions on the Clean Technology Programs will be held around Australia from next month and more information on the initiatives will be available from the AusIndustry site.
For non-manufacturing businesses or those not eligible for either of the above programs, they may be able to take advantage of programs such as the Solar Credits scheme to purchase a solar power system and slash power bills, while also reducing emissions.
Also announced this week were a series of  other energy efficiency initiatives and assistance targeted towards business, local government, households and communities.