Eco Innovator November 2011

Government Policy

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.






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