Australia

Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020, Australia has committed at least USD 1.41 billion to supporting different energy types through new or amended policies, according to official government sources and other publicly available information. These public money commitments include:

  • At least USD 482.79 million for unconditional fossil fuels through 11 policies (4 quantified and 7 unquantified)
  • No public money commitments identified for conditional fossil fuels
  • At least USD 607.09 million for unconditional clean energy through 11 policies (9 quantified and 2 unquantified)
  • At least USD 49.44 million for conditional clean energy through 4 policies (4 quantified)
  • At least USD 273.15 million for other energy through 4 policies (3 quantified and 1 unquantified)
Updated: 21 October 2020


At least

$482.79 million

Supporting fossil fuel energy

$19.03

Per capita



At least

$656.53 million

Supporting clean energy

$25.88

Per capita

By energy type, Australia committed at least USD 480.49 million to oil and gas (at least USD 480.49 million to unconditional oil and gas).

In addition, some public money committed for coal (3 policies with the value of public money unquantified).

Further, no public money commitments identified for hydrogen based on fossil fuels.

Finally, Australia committed at least USD 2.30 million to multiple fossil fuels (at least USD 2.30 million to unconditional multiple fossil fuels).

A considerably larger amount of public money committed to supporting the economy and people of Australia through monetary and fiscal policies in response to the crisis may also benefit different elements of the energy sector. However, these values are not available from official legislation and statements and therefore are not included in the database. Meanwhile, in addition to monetary and fiscal measures, the database lists other policies and regulations that can also provide benefits to producers and consumers of different energy types.

These public money commitments are additional to many other government policies that had existed to support different energy types before the COVID19 pandemic.

Public money commitments to fossil fuels, clean and other energy in recovery packages, USD billion, as of 21 October 2020

Country Jurisdiction Category Policy name Sector Energy Type Mechanism Value committed, USD Date of announcement Policy type Stage Legislation and Endorsing Agency Arm of Government Primary and secondary stated objective of the policy Date of entry into force Implemented repeal date, if any Value as stated (specify currency) Value committed, national currency Value disbursed, national currency Value disbursed, USD: Policy background Links to official sources Links to additional sources
Australia National Fossil unconditional Funding for Vales Point coal fired power plant upgrade Power generation Coal Budget or off-budget transfer ... 2020100606/10/2020 Fiscal Electricity generation Government Upgrades designed to reduce emissions, improve reliability and provide additional dispatchable generation in New South Wales. Funding of undisclosed amount committed in 2020-21 Budget to upgrade Delta Electricity's Vales Point coal fired power plant in NSW. Funding will provide new turbines and high pressure heaters by 2022-23.
https://www.afr.com/policy/energy-and-climate/vales-point-coal-power-station-secures-upgrade-20201005-p56248
Australia Queensland Clean unconditional $500 million for Queensland Renewable Energy Fund Power generation Multiple renewable Budget or off-budget transfer ... 328299409.06106 2020090707/09/2020 Fiscal Electricity generation Government Investment to generate jobs for COVID-19 recovery 500000000 500000000 $500 million for Queensland Renewable Energy Fund to invest in publicly-owned renewable energy projects and supporting infrastructure
https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/90683
Australia New South Wales Fossil unconditional Whitehaven Vickery coal mine extension Resources Coal Regulatory rollback or non-gov... 2020081212/08/2020 Other Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Government Increase coal extraction from the Whitehaven Vickery Coal Mine by 25%. Independent Planning Commission approval for Whitehaven Coal's Vickery mine to increase coal extraction by 25% and expand disturbance area by 776 hectares. The project is expected to create 450 ongoing jobs.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/ipc-approves-whitehaven-vickery-coal-mine-expansion/12548826
Australia Victoria Clean unconditional Second Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) auction Power generation Multiple renewable Budget or off-budget transfer ... 2020090202/09/2020 Fiscal Electricity generation Government Victorian Government tender for 600MW of new renewable energy to power government operations 02/09/2020 Victorian Government second Renewable Energy Target (VRET) auction to procure 600MW of new renewable energy to power government operations, including schools, trains, hospitals and other government services.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/victoria-seeks-600mw-wind-and-solar-to-power-hospitals-schools-and-trains-20495/
Australia Queensland Fossil unconditional Bowen Basin Pipeline Study Resources Gas and gas products Budget or off-budget transfer ... 3282994.0906106 2020082020/08/2020 Fiscal Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Government Feasibility study for Bowen Basin Gas Pipeline 5000000 5000000 Commits $5 million to Bowen Basin Gas Pipeline feasibilty study to investigate the feasibility and options for a new transmission pipeline.
https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/128194/economic-recovery-plan.pdf Accessed 25 Aug 2020
Australia Western Australia Clean unconditional Renewable Hydrogen in Western Australia Recovery Plan Power generation Hydrogen Budget or off-budget transfer ... 14445173.998687 2020081717/08/2020 Fiscal Several energy stages Government Boost renewable hydrogen industry and create jobs 22000000 22000000 9 initiatives worth $22 million will boost Western Australia's renewable hydrogen industry across exports, use in remotely located industries, blending in natural gas networks, and use in electric vehicles.
https://www.wa.gov.au/government/announcements/22-million-investment-accelerate-renewable-hydrogen-future Accessed 25 Aug 2020
Australia Queensland Clean unconditional Queensland Renewable Energy Zones Power generation Multiple renewable Budget or off-budget transfer ... 95206828.627708 2020082020/08/2020 Fiscal Electricity generation Government Attract investment and create new jobs 145000000 145000000 The Queensland Government is investing $145 million to establish three Queensland renewable energy zones (QREZ) to attract investment, create jobs, unlock congestion and connect more renewable energy projects.
https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/128194/economic-recovery-plan.pdf Accessed 25 Aug 2020
Australia Western Australia Other energy West Australian Goldfields-Esperance Recovery Plan – Technology Investment Power generation Multiple energy types Budget or off-budget transfer ... 10505581.089954 2020072626/07/2020 Fiscal Electricity generation Government 16000000 16000000 $16.6 million for new power station > energy source not stated but categorised 'Renewables and Technology'
https://www.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-08/Goldfields-Esperance-Recovery-Plan.pdf Accessed 25 Aug 2020
Australia Western Australia Clean unconditional West Australian Recovery Plan Clean Energy Future Fund Power generation Multiple renewable Budget or off-budget transfer ... 6565988.1812213 2020072626/07/2020 Fiscal Electricity generation Government To provide a source of funding to support the implementation of innovative clean energy projects 10000000 10000000 $10 million towards the Clean Energy Future Fund to invest in clean energy technologies
https://www.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-08/Wheatbelt Recovery Plan.pdf Accessed 25 Aug 2020
Australia Queensland Fossil unconditional 2020 Queensland Exploration Program Resources Multiple fossil Other hybrid support measures 2020050606/05/2020 Other Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Government Maintain and increase resources jobs and projects as C19 stimulus 14/05/2020 Almost 7,000 square kilometres of land (some of which is used for agriculture) will be released for coal and gas exploration in the state of Queensland. The Queensland Government is freezing fees and charges for explorers until July 2021.
https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1472090/2020-queensland-exploration-program.pdf Accessed 25 August 2020
https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/89784 Accessed 25 August 2020
Australia New South Wales Clean unconditional New England NSW Renewable Energy Zone Power generation Multiple renewable Budget or off-budget transfer ... 51871306.631648 2020071010/07/2020 Fiscal Electricity generation Government 79000000 The New England Renewable Energy Zone will be a 8,000MW energy zone, attract 12.7 billion in investment, support 2,000 construction jobs and 1,300 ongoing jobs, and lower energy prices.
https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/news/new-england-to-light-up-with-second-nsw-renewable-energy-zone Accessed 27 July 2020
Australia New South Wales Clean unconditional Central West NSW Renewable Energy Zone Power generation Multiple renewable Budget or off-budget transfer ... 20748522.652659 2020062323/06/2020 Fiscal Electricity generation Government Jobs, investment and new revenue streams for regional NSW 31600000 The 3GW Central-West Orana renewable energy zone is expected to generate $4.4 billion in investment, create 450 construction jobs, and help reduce electricity prices.
https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/news/renewable-energy-zone-sparking-investment-boom Accessed 27 July 2020
Australia NSW, SA, Victoria Other energy Full tariff relief for small business customers in stress Power generation Multiple energy types Tax or royalty or govt fee bre... 2020040101/04/2020 Fiscal Energy use (all energy types, consumption in transport, household use, buildings etc) Government Support small businesses that suffer due to COVID-19. Network charges will be rebated for small business customers experiencing financial stress and who are mothballing as a result of COVID-19 from April to June.
https://www.energynetworks.com.au/miscellaneous/covid-19-electricity-and-gas-network-relief-package/ Accessed 26 June 2020
Australia Northern Territory Clean conditional Battery energy storage system (BESS) for the Darwin – Katherine System Power generation Multiple energy types Budget or off-budget transfer ... 19697964.543664 2020061212/06/2020 Fiscal Electricity storage or transmission or distribution Ministry for Renewables, Energy and Essential Services Government Address system security and reliability, encourage private investors and maximise the amount of renewable power in the network. 30000000 Procurement of a large scale battery energy storage system (BESS) for the Darwin-Katherine system at a project cost of $30M.
http://newsroom.nt.gov.au/mediaRelease/33392 Accessed 18 June 2020
Australia Northern Territory Fossil unconditional Progressing the Strategic Regional Environmental Baseline Assessment to develop an onshore gas indus... Resources Gas and gas products Loan (Hybrid) 7741300.0656599 2020051313/05/2020 Fiscal Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Government Development of an onshore gas industry 11790000 $11.8 million towards the development of an onshore gas industry in the Territory to progress the Strategic Regional Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA), which will be subsequently recouped through cost-recovery arrangements with industry, and continue implementation of the Hydraulic Fracturing recommendations.
https://www.pipeliner.com.au/2020/05/15/nt-government-backing-gas/ Accessed 17 June 2020
Australia Tasmania Clean conditional Waiving electricity bills for small to medium businesses Power generation Multiple energy types Tax or royalty or govt fee bre... 17728168.089297 Fiscal Energy use (all energy types, consumption in transport, household use, buildings etc) Government Support small business customers due to COVID-19 impact 01/04/2020 27000000 27000000 17728168.089297 100 percent waiver to eligible small business customers and community service organizations. This effectively waives the payment of their first quarterly electricity bill issued on or after 1 April 2020 for energy consumed in the previous billing period, saving Tasmanian small businesses on average around $1000. Tasmania is pretty close to 100% hydro but it is linked to the mainland so occasionally imports coal power. Since it is close to 100% hydro, this policy is categorized as clean conditional.
https://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/241112/TREAP.PDF Accessed 28 July 2020
Australia Tasmania Clean unconditional Tasmania Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan Power generation Hydrogen Uncategorized 32829940.906106 2020051919/05/2020 Fiscal Electricity generation Ministry of Energy and Ministry for State Growth Government Becoming the nation's renewable hydrogen industry epicenter. 50000000 Tasmania wants to use its existing renewable energy to make green hydrogen. $20 million will be in the form of grants, another $20 million in the form of loans, and the final $10 million of support services including competitive electricity supply arrangements and payroll tax relief.
https://web.archive.org/web/20200709133959/
http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/re-issued_becoming_the_nations_renewable_hydrogen_industry_epicentre
https://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/223927/Tasmanian_Renewable_Hydrogen_Action_Plan_web_27_March_2020.pdf
Australia Western Australia Fossil unconditional Reduction of the Mines Safety Levy Resources Coal Tax or royalty or govt fee bre... 2020042323/04/2020 Fiscal Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Mines and Petroleum Ministry Government Reduction of Mines Safety Levy by 20% from 1 July 2020 to provide relief to mining companies. 01/07/2020 The McGowan Government is reducing the Mines Safety Levy by 20 percent (from 21c to 17c) from July 1, 2020, to provide relief to mining companies.
https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2020/04/Mines-Safety-Levy-to-be-reduced.aspx Accessed 18 June 2020
Australia Queensland Clean conditional Additional funding to support the CopperString 2.0 high voltage transmission line Power generation Multiple energy types Budget or off-budget transfer ... 9717662.5082075 2020051919/05/2020 Fiscal Electricity storage or transmission or distribution Premier and Minister for Trade Government Extending the national electricity grid and create thousands of minerals mining and industrial manufacturing jobs 14800000 Extending the national electricity grid from Townsville across the North to Mount Isa, CopperString is expected to underpin the creation of thousands of minerals mining and industrial manufacturing jobs for generations to come and stimulate large-scale renewable energy investment.
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2020/5/19/copperstring-to-power-jobs-and-wealth-creation-for-nq Accessed 24 June 2020
Australia Queensland Clean unconditional Renewable energy training facility Power generation Multiple renewable Budget or off-budget transfer ... 11162179.908076 2020061616/06/2020 Fiscal Non-applicable (non-energy measure) Premier and Minister for Trade Government Building renewable skills and jobs 16/06/2020 23000000 17000000 The facility will provide skills training for 750 apprentices annually and assist approximately 26,000 licensed electricians with further training in solar and other renewable energy work.
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2020/6/16/23-million-renewable-energy-training-facility-gets-green-light-to-create-jobs Accessed 17 June 2020
Australia Queensland Fossil unconditional Opening up of 7,000km of land for coal and gas exploration Resources Multiple fossil Assumption of environmental li... 2020060808/06/2020 Other Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Government Expand resources sector. Five parcels released for tender around coal and gas-rich rich Surat and Bowen Basins
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2020/6/8/new-territory-opens-for-keen-gas-explorers?utm_source=miragenews&utm_medium=miragenews&utm_campaign=news
Australia Queensland Other energy $100 million electricity bill relief for small and medium businesses Power generation Multiple energy types Budget or off-budget transfer ... 65659881.812213 2020032727/03/2020 Fiscal Electricity storage or transmission or distribution Government Support small businesses, including sole traders, as a result of COVID-19. 01/05/2020 100000000 Sole traders, small and medium businesses will get a $500 rebate on their power bill. Any business consuming less than 100,000 kilowatt hours will receive the rebate, which will be automatically applied on business electricity bills
https://www.treasury.qld.gov.au/files/Covid-19_Fact_sheet_Business.pdf Accessed 26 June 2020
https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/energy-business/covid-19-relief Accessed 26 June 2020
Australia South Australia Fossil unconditional Deferred costs for exploration and license fees for the minerals and petroleum sectors Resources Multiple fossil Tax or royalty or govt fee bre... 2020040303/04/2020 Fiscal Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Ministry of Energy and Mining Government Assist companies struggling from COVID-19 and oil price collapse. 03/04/2020 Immediate deferral of mineral exploration license fees and annual petroleum and geothermal license fees due in the next six months (now due December 2020), as well as a 12-month waiver of committed expenditure for all mineral exploration license holders and an expansion of allowable expenditures towards the minimum Petroleum Retentiion License requirements during periods of low oil prices.
http://www.energymining.sa.gov.au/latest_updates/fee_relief_for_covid19-hit_resources_sector Accessed 16 June 2020
Australia Victoria Fossil unconditional Deferral of rent collection and annual fees for quarries and exploration companies Resources Multiple fossil Tax or royalty or govt fee bre... 2298095.8634274 2020052222/05/2020 Fiscal Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Earth Resources Regulation of the Ministry of Resources Government Ease cash flow pressure on mining companies. 01/07/2020 01/01/2021 3500000 Victoria's Earth Resources Regulation will defer the collection of rent and annual fees worth $3.5 million until January 2021 to aid the immediate cashflow of mines, quarries, and exploration companies.
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/support-for-victorias-vital-mining-and-quarry-businesses/ Accessed 18 June 2020
Australia Victoria Fossil unconditional Legislation to lift the moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration Resources Gas and gas products New or extended regulation (IT... 2020061212/06/2020 Other Exploration or production or processing or storage or transportation Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 Government Boost local gas supply. 01/07/2021 The Victorian Government claims it is supporting an open and orderly restart of the onshore conventional gas industry and that production of the estimated resources could generate as much as $310 million annually for regional economies and create up to 6,400 jobs.
https://content.legislation.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/bills/591091bi1.pdf Accessed 16 June 2020

https://www.appea.com.au/all_news/victorian-legislation-lifts-moratorium-on-conventional-gas/ Accessed 16 June 2020
https://www.reuters.com/article/australia-gas-victoria/australian-state-to-allow-conventional-onshore-gas-drilling-from-2021-idUSL4N2BA0LD Accessed 16 June 2020
Australia National Clean unconditional Reform to the energy market to incentivise reductions in energy demand (“Wholesale demand resp... Power generation Other energy type New or extended regulation (IT... Other Energy efficiency Australian Energy Market Commission Government Incentive major energy users to scale down demand during peak periods. The energy regulator body approved a rule to allow major energy users to be rewarded for scaling down demand during peak periods.
https://www.aemc.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/final_determination_-_for_publication.pdf Accessed 18 June 2020
Australia National Fossil unconditional Aviation Industry Relief Package Mobility Oil and oil products Other hybrid support measures 469468154.95732 2020031818/03/2020 Fiscal Energy use (all energy types, consumption in transport, household use, buildings etc) Government These measures are in response to an unprecedented and likely sustained period of falling international and domestic aviation demand related to the impact of COVID-19. 715000000 159000000 104399212.08142 The support package will refund and waive aviation fuel excise, air service charges, and domestic and regional aviation security charges.
https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/relief-package-australian-aviation-industry Accessed 22 June 2020

https://blueswandaily.com/australia-govt-extends-aviation-financial-support-packages/ Accessed 22 June 2020
Australia National Clean conditional CEFC investment in Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure Mobility Multiple energy types Equity injection or nationalis... 2298095.8634274 2020061616/06/2020 Fiscal Energy use (all energy types, consumption in transport, household use, buildings etc) Clean Energy Finance Coroportation Public finance institution Support JET Charge in the deployment of smart charging hardware under a services-based model, to help drive down the cost of smart and connected EV charging stations and make them more user friendly for drivers. 16/06/2020 3500000 Clean Energy Finance Corporation investment in JET Charge EV charging infrastructure through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.
https://www.cefc.com.au/media/media-release/jet-charge-and-cefc-pave-the-way-to-cheaper-charging-for-electric-vehicles/ Accessed 25 June 2020
Australia National Other energy Advancing Hydrogen Fund Multiple sectors Hydrogen Other hybrid support measures 196979645.43664 2020050404/05/2020 Fiscal Several energy stages Clean Energy Finance Coroportation 2020 Investment Mandate handed down by the Energy Minister Public finance institution Investing in Australia’s emerging hydrogen industry to kick start jobs and exports from the sector. 04/05/2020 300000000 This fund will provide finance to projects looking to grow Australia’s renewable hydrogen sector, including developing new domestic supply chains, export infrastructure, and to help grow domestic demand for hydrogen.
https://www.energy.gov.au/news-media/news/government-announces-300m-advancing-hydrogen-fund Accessed 25 June 2020

https://news.trust.org/item/20200504013347-5ffvz/?utm_campaign=climate&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=secondListing&utm_content=link4&utm_contentItemId=20200504013347-5ffvz Accessed 25 June 2020
https://reneweconomy.com.au/cefc-to-kick-start-australias-hydrogen-industry-with-new-300m-investment-fund-38339/ Accessed 25 June 2020
Australia National Clean unconditional ARENA funding to fast track renewables for hydrogen Multiple sectors Hydrogen Budget or off-budget transfer ... 45961917.268549 2020041515/04/2020 Fiscal Several energy stages ARENA Public finance institution ARENA aims to share knowledge on technical and commercial parameters for commercial-scale renewable hydrogen production for domestic and international markets. 15/04/2020 70000000 ARENA, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has opened up AUD 70 million funding to develop a competitive hydrogen industry in Australia. In particular, support will be geared towards developing large scale electrolysers that will source electricity from renewable energy.
https://arena.gov.au/funding/renewable-hydrogen-deployment-funding-round/ Accessed on 21 May 2020

https://reneweconomy.com.au/arena-opens-70-million-funding-round-to-fast-track-renewables-for-hydrogen-58600/ Accessed on 21 May 2020
https://arena.gov.au/blog/70-million-hydrogen-funding-round/ Accessed on 21 May 2020