Investment rules for Australian renewable energy agencies set to be broadened: PM

Marco Green
September 19, 2020

"The Australian Hydrogen Council has advocated for the expansion of funding and longevity of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which is critical for the hydrogen sector", Simon said.

The Prime Minister has announced another energy package, this time aimed at broadening the investment scope for Australia's energy agencies.

"The key line is ARENA is dead as the institution it was meant to be".

Currently, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) can only invest in renewable energy projects, while the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CERF) can only invest in project's which produce half of the average grid's emissions.

"This will not only cut emissions but deliver the reliable energy Australia needs while driving down prices for homes and businesses", he said.

"ARENA has played an important role in this growth, and as the cost of renewable technologies has fallen dramatically, the Government is investing in the future of ARENA to support the next generation of energy technologies", Mr Taylor said.

Carbon Market Institute Chief Executive Officer John O'Connor welcomed the government's pursuit of emerging technologies as part of emissions reduction efforts.

"There is still much work to be done but with an experienced team, industry knowledge and strong networks across a range of technologies and sectors, ARENA is well positioned to support Australia's energy transformation and emissions reduction goals".

"We need stronger mid-term targets and clear guidance for net zero-emissions by 2050", he told SBS News.

Australia will invest A$1.9 billion ($1.39 billion) over the next 10 years in nascent renewable energy technology, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday, as Canberra accelerates spending in a bid to revive its ailing economy.

No definition has been given just yet as to what qualifies as low emission, but the Prime Minister did say CERF and ARENA would be able to finance projects like soil-carbon sequestration, carbon capture and storage, and production of green-steel.

"The government is "technology neutral" when it comes to renewables, and picking favourites when it comes to gas and coal", he said.

"It is a smart way to utilise Government funds because every dollar spent goes towards helping people most in need by reducing energy bills, while creating jobs and cutting emissions".

ACOSS Climate and Energy Senior Advisor, Kellie Caught said "The Government should also rethink the proposals to subsidise coal and gas, which will only continue to fuel the climate crisis that is putting people's health and wellbeing at risk, and creating stranded assets".

ARENA will be allowed to invest in renewable energy projects that are in the early stages of research and development while the CEFC is restricted to funding clean energy technologies that are in the commercial phase.

"The fact is this government don't support renewables", he said.

"Even though what we know is that the cleanest and cheapest form of new energy in Australia is renewables".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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