ARENA needs AU$460m federal funding lifeline, says Australia Institute

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
The aftermath of a bushfire in New South Wales, Australia. Credit: Tatters, Flickr

Think tank the Australia Institute has urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s federal government to carve out fresh funding for the Australia Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in its 2022-23 and 2023-24 budgets.

The agency has no funding beyond 2021-22 and will not be able to sponsor new clean energy projects from August 2020 onwards, the Canberra-based group warned in a pre-budget submission paper on Tuesday.

Funding of AU$230 million (US$155 million) for the two financial years would sustain ARENA and its projects while a longer-term funding plan is devised, according to the Australia Institute.

ARENA has invested AU$1.44 billion (US$970 million) in 478 projects since it was established in 2011 by a Labor government. Those projects have yielded a total value of AU$5.49 billion (US$3.70 billion).

Solar PV has benefited from the largest chunk of grants, at AU$654 million (US$441 million), or 46% of total investment.

The think tank's report notes that investments in solar PV “have driven deployment innovation in large-scale solar farms, reduced costs in Australia and also gone to ‘pure’ R&D designed to improve the efficiency of PV cells, which has global benefits.”

The act that brought ARENA into existence set out an allocation of AU$2.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) in funding until 2020, but funding was slashed by Liberal-led governments in 2014 and 2016.

“While a 10-year funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion is ultimately needed to guarantee the long-term future of ARENA, a two-year fully funded extension for the agency will keep clean energy innovation in Australia thriving in the short-term,” Dan Cass, energy policy and regulatory lead at The Australia Institute said in a statement.

“Australia needs ARENA, if we are to do our fair share of global emissions reductions,” he added.

The full report, Fighting for the ARENA, is available here.

4 October 2022
Solar & Storage Finance USA, the only event that connects developers to capital and capital to solar and storage projects, will be back in November 2022.
11 October 2022
PV CellTech Extra will be held as a series of live webinars and on-demand sessions on 11-13 October 2022. We'll be taking a slightly further forward-looking view at the technologies and roadmaps for new cell architectures set to dominate mass production during 2023-2025 with special emphasis on the potential timelines for technologies beyond the single-junction cell design, including perovskite and hybrid concepts.

Read Next

September 28, 2022
The ENACT Installer App automates the complete journey of the customer, right from first contact to complete installation.
September 28, 2022
Queensland gets about 21% of its energy from renewables, but the state government has just set an increased target of 70% renewables by 2032.
September 21, 2022
A new consortium has been formed in Queensland with a MOU to build a green ammonia corridor between Australia and Korea.
PV Tech Premium
September 19, 2022
The proliferation of solar requires PV projects to adapt to their grid surroundings, which increasingly entails connecting alongside adjacent technologies, be it energy storage, other renewables or green hydrogen. Amid the growing threat of curtailment, Jules Scully looks at the rise of the ‘solar-plus’ market and the financial models underpinning it.
September 15, 2022
Declan Flanagan, former CEO of Orsted Onshore, has launched a renewables investment platform with an initial capital of US$100 million.
September 14, 2022
US utility-scale service provider Borrego has launched a new solar and battery storage procurement marketplace and optimisation solution called Anza.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
On-Demand Webinars, Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event
Upcoming Webinars
October 18, 2022
10am (EDT) / 4pm (CEST)