Funding, Renewables

ARENA and CEFC celebrate 10 years of supporting Australian clean energy

On 30 November, 2022, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) hosted a joint event at Parliament House in Canberra celebrating their respective 10-year anniversaries.

Both organisations were established in 2012, with ARENA supporting renewable energy innovation and the CEFC providing financing for renewable energy projects.

Speaking at the celebration event at Parliament House, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen acknowledged the work of ARENA in striving towards Australia’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“It is a great privilege to mark the 10th anniversary of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency,” he said.

“ARENA is the proud legacy of Labor in government and has played an integral role in the nation’s clean energy transformation through investments in large-scale solar, batteries and renewable hydrogen projects.

“ARENA will continue to play a crucial role to help decarbonise our industries, transform to a clean energy economy and achieve the Albanese Government’s commitment of net-zero emissions by 2050.”

ARENA offers a pathway to commercialisation for many new technologies, and since its foundation on 1 July, 2012, it has supported 632 projects with $1.96 billion in grant funding, unlocking a total investment of $8.81 billion in Australia’s renewable energy industry.

One of the organisation’s early achievements was helping to initiate Australia’s large-scale solar industry through its funding of solar farms.

Funding has also been provided to emerging technologies, including grid-scale batteries in South Australia, Victoria and NSW; funding the early development of Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project; Australia’s first national electric vehicle fast-charging networks; and various microgrid projects in regional communities.

Additionally, ARENA has set an ambitious target of “Solar 30 30 30” to improve solar cell efficiency to 30 per cent and reduce the total cost of construction of utility scale solar farms to 30 cents per watt by 2030.

The organisation is also focused on upscaling the production of low-cost renewable hydrogen and unlocking decarbonisation pathways for heavy industry, including low-emission materials such as green steel and aluminium.

“ARENA’s results during the past 10 years have helped position Australia as a potential renewable energy powerhouse,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller (pictured above).

“Funding Australian researchers, startups and companies has allowed innovation to thrive and has increased the capabilities and maturity of our renewable energy sector.

“We’re excited about the future in which we expect to uncover and develop new and emerging low-emissions technologies that will ensure we achieve our goal of net zero by 2050.

“Supporting innovative technologies such as ultra-low cost solar, large-scale storage, demand flexibility, renewable hydrogen and low-emissions metals will lead us in the right direction for this critical decade.”

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