ARENA scores funding commitment and expanded scope
The Australian Government has announced new long term funding and an expanded focus for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency that will secure its future beyond 2022.
The Prime Minister and Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction yesterday announced a total funding package of $1.62 billion for Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) including guaranteed baseline funding of $1.43 billion over the next ten years.
This new funding and expanded focus will allow ARENA to continue its work together with energy industry participants, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, research institutions and other agencies to support low emission technologies across the innovation chain.
ARENA Chair Justin Punch said that he was pleased that ARENA is seen as a key delivery agent for the Australian Government.
“It is critically important that through agencies like ARENA, we bring to bear the most effective tools and technologies to support the clean energy transition and help Australia reduce its emissions,” Mr Punch said.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller welcomed the new funding and an ongoing role for the agency.
“We are delighted to see ARENA’s important role acknowledged with new funding, and we welcome a new era for ARENA.
Over its lifetime, ARENA has helped to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies such as large scale solar, grid scale batteries, pumped hydro, bioenergy, distributed energy technologies and hydrogen. Since 2012, ARENA has supported 543 projects with $1.58 billion of funding that has leveraged nearly $5 billion in additional private and public sector investment.
As technologies have matured, ARENA’s focus has evolved from supporting pure renewable energy generation technologies to assisting with the integration of these technologies to support the operation of the system with ever increasing shares of variable renewable energy. ARENA’s current investment priorities include a focus on integrating renewables into the grid, accelerating the uptake of hydrogen and supporting industry to reduce emissions.
The Clean Energy Council was also optimistic about the renewed funding commitment.
"ARENA has played an important role in driving renewable energy development over the past decade. This commitment from the federal government will ensure continued support for energy storage and renewable energy research, allow major industries to explore opportunities to adopt renewable energy and provide longer-term certainty to the development of a world-leading hydrogen industry," said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.
To read more about the work of ARENA, go to their website here.