The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has launched a new programme under its inaugural General Funding Strategy which aims to drive renewable energy adoption in regional and remote areas in Australia.
The agency has published the General Funding Strategy along with an accompanying Investment Plan for 2012-15. The General Funding Strategy is a framework for ARENA’s operations and outlines priorities for the next three years. It will be updated annually.
Under the investment plan, four new programmes have been launched which aim at delivering renewable systems in regional and remote locations, removing roadblocks for regional and remote renewable energy, building Australia’s next generation solar and developing a comprehensive knowledge sharing programme.
ARENA Chair Greg Bourne also revealed that the “Regional Australia’s Renewables program will aim to deliver renewable systems in regional locations where energy consumption is forecast to increase and where fossil fuel-based generation costs are the greatest”.
ARENA currently has several renewable energy projects in the pipeline including solar research and development projects from the Australian Solar Institute. Bourne added: “ARENA continues to support large-scale solar projects, such as the AGL-First Solar thin-film PV solar project previously announced by the Australian government. We are also continuing discussions with Moree Solar Farm and Infigen-Suntech on potential projects based on their short-listed Solar Flagships program applications.”
The agency has also revealed that it will no longer be pursuing the development of the 250 MW Solar Dawn solar thermal project in Queensland. Construction of the project had been scheduled to begin in 2013.