Australia to create a $653 million fund to expand solar production

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will launch a $1 billion ($653 million) fund to help boost domestic solar power generation, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Thursday, as he looks to step up his transition to renewable energy from coal-fired power.

The Albanian centre-left Labor government has been increasing funding for new wind, solar and battery projects with more than A$40 billion allocated since coming to power in 2022. The government is looking to increase energy by 82% by 2030 in the electricity grid from. about 40% now.

“Australia should not be the last link for international products made in Australia,” Albanese said in a statement.

“We have all the metals and minerals needed to be a player in the middle of zero change, with a proven track record as a reliable energy producer and exporter.”

One in three Australian homes have rooftop solar installed, the most widely adopted worldwide, but only 1% of that produced in the country.

The project will combine production and grant funding, and help build solar panels at Australia’s top power producer AGL Energy’s former Liddell Power Station, Albanese told ABC Radio.

The creation of home panels will help prevent any disruptions that may occur in the future, similar to those experienced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will support operations if the power plants stop working, Albanese said.

“There are more planned closings in the future … (we have to) look for opportunities where workers can continue to be employed in other, higher-paying jobs,” he said.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will help develop and deliver the results. ARENA will look at the entire supply chain from ingots and wafers to cells, module assembly, and other components, including solar glass and inverters.

($1 = 1.5314 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Renju Jose in Sydney. Editing by Sam Holmes.)

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