The Albanese Government has announced its new, $1 billion Solar Sunshot initiative, which it says will help transform Australia into a renewable energy powerhouse.

The Solar Sunshot program is designed to enhance Australia's participation in the global solar manufacturing supply chain by offering support in the form of production subsidies and grants. 

It is an effort to address the stark contrast between Australia's world-leading household solar panel adoption rate and the fact that just 1 per cent of these solar panels are manufactured domestically. 

The initiative was announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in the Hunter Region, at the site of the decommissioned coal-fired Liddell Power Station.

The federal initiative should be complemented by the NSW Government's $275 million NSW Net Zero Manufacturing Initiative, which aims to support workers, small businesses, manufacturers, and innovators in adapting to the transformation of the energy grid. 

Both programs seek to bolster the renewable products manufacturing sector and low carbon materials industries.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will collaborate with industry stakeholders to design and implement the Solar Sunshot program. 

ARENA is expected to examine the solar panel production supply chain, from the raw materials stage through to assembly and related components, such as solar glass and inverters. 

The Prime Minister says the initiative will capitalise on Australia's rich array of metals and critical minerals necessary for the net zero transformation. 

State and federal governments say the Solar Sunshot initiative, coupled with the NSW Net Zero Manufacturing Initiative and the establishment of the Net Zero Economy Authority, forms a comprehensive approach to ensuring that regions traditionally dependent on fossil fuels continue to thrive in a future dominated by renewable energy.