Eco Innovator November 2011
ARENA Opens For Innovators
The Federal Government has
introduced legislation to create the $3.2 billion Australian Renewable
Energy Agency (ARENA), a new source of funding for clean energy innovators.
ARENA will be established on
1 July 2012 and oversee around $3.2 billion in funding for the development
of renewable energies such as small and large scale solar, biomass, biofuels,
ocean and geothermal. $1.5 billion of the funding is already committed
to existing projects, and $1.7 billion is uncommitted.
Together with the expanded
Renewable Energy Target and a price on carbon, ARENA will help drive down
the costs of renewable energy and encourage its deployment, said the Government.
ARENA will provide financial
assistance for the research, development, demonstration, deployment and
commercialization of renewable energy and related technologies; develop
skills in the renewable energy industry; share non-confidential knowledge
and information from the projects it funds; and promote collaboration
on renewable energy technology innovation with state and international
governments and institutions.
ARENA is an independent statutory
authority that will consolidate the work and oversee projects and funding
undertaken so far by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET),
the Australian Solar Institute (ASI) and the Australian Centre for Renewable
Energy (ACRE). Staff from the ASI will transfer to DRET and provide support
to ARENA. It will complement the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation,
which will also invest in the commercialization and deployment of renewable
energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies.
The legislation will enable
establishment of the board and the positions of chief executive officer
and chief financial officer, and its governance and financial arrangements.