The Australian government has provided Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell with funding to help lower emissions from the manufacturing sector.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) confirmed Thursday it had given A$250,000 (US$178,350) in funding to Shell subsidiary ERM Power.

Shell claimed the funds would be used towards a A$600,000 programme to help Australian manufacturers improve energy productivity, cut emissions and reduce energy costs.

The programme will involve 20 manufacturing businesses in Queensland, which will undergo energy assessments to help determine the potential to increase energy productivity and renewable energy generation by electrifying traditional gas-based processes and optimising onsite solar.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEW ENERGY TRANSITION NEWSLETTER

Energy explored: Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from Accelerate, the new weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here.

It will develop integrated energy management plans for each participating business by using data and technology to analyse their patterns of energy use, with the aim of giving manufacturers a better understanding of their energy use to enable them to make investment decisions to improve their energy efficiency, lower costs and lower emissions.

The assessments will be used to develop case studies that will be published on an online portal and shared with other businesses to be used in developing their own renewable energy transition plan.

“Energy can be complex to navigate, and a lack of access to relevant, credible information and tools is a significant barrier to improving energy productivity,” ERM chief executive Greg Joiner said.

“Ever cheaper energy alone will not overcome every obstacle to competitive manufacturing in Australia, and we all have a responsibility to ensure every electron and molecule is put to its most efficient use.”

The programme will build upon a pilot in 2018 that identified energy cost savings of up to 28% for participating businesses through energy productivity gains, electrification of gas-based processes, and adoption and optimisation of renewable technologies, such as onsite solar.