Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, on Thursday announced plans to invest AUD 1 billion ($630 million) to speed up energy transition towards renewable power and support a shift away from natural gas for heating and cooking purposes.
Such an investment is expected to generate 4.5 gigawatts of new renewable energy, which would be sufficient to power about 1.5 million households in the Victoria state.
“We’ll invest in government-owned renewable energy, help households switch to all-electric and build the renewables workforce Victoria needs,” state Premier Jacinta Allan was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The new investment aims to increase storage and onshore generation and also to build industry confidence to lure more investments.
In July, the Victoria government had announced that natural gas connections to new homes would be banned from 2024.
Victoria is Australia’s biggest consumer of natural gas with about 80% of homes connected.
At present, the gas sector accounts for some 17% of emissions in the Victoria state, which plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2045.