The Labor has committed to provide capital grants through ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency).

“Labor is committed to debt, equity and capital grant funding for the renewable energy sector. To achieve our target of 50 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030, each of these three elements are crucial,” said Mark Butler, Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water.

The Clean Energy Council has applauded the move.

“We welcome [the] commitment from the Australian Labor Party for future capital grant funding for ARENA,” said CEC Chief Executive Kane Thornton.

“While it is disappointing that this has not been cemented with a firm budgetary commitment, we look forward to working with the ALP to ensure it delivers the necessary level of funding, should the party be successful at the upcoming election.”

John Grimes, CEO of the Australian Solar Council, has also welcomed the announcement, albeit with a caveat.

“The commitment to debt, equity and grant funding is important and will be welcomed by solar companies and solar researchers,” said Mr Grimes. “But Labor needs to go much further and commit to restoring the $1.3 billion [Prime Minister] Malcolm Turnbull is planning to rip from ARENA.”

Mr Thornton said the Federal Government’s current position to abolish future ARENA capital grant funding remained disappointing.

“ARENA cannot build on its excellent track record of creating local employment, developing new industries and businesses in the clean energy supply chain – and bringing down the cost of these technologies through increased efficiency – without an appropriate level of funding,” he said. “The end of capital grant funding would negatively affect the development of a range of technologies, such as battery storage, large-scale solar, marine energy, sophisticated R&D and initiatives to develop a 21st century energy grid.”