Australia’s renewables agency sees AU$500 million budget cut

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
The federal government had originally proposed to cut the entire AU$1.3 billion future grant funding for ARENA. Credit: ARENA

Australia’s coalition government has secured support from the Labor Party to cut funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) from AU$1.3 billion to AU$800 million.

The federal government had originally proposed to cut the entire AU$1.3 billion future grant funding for ARENA, a body that facilitates investment and innovation in renewables in Australia, but the cuts have been tempered somewhat in order to secure the support of the Labor party in passing the Budget Savings ‘omnibus bill’ this week.

The news was still disappointing for renewable energy advocates.

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said: “A cut to ARENA’s funding is a move at odds with the federal government’s innovation agenda and is a disappointing change in [Labor’s] position.

“While we recognise the budget constraints facing the nation, clean energy innovation is a crucial lever to transition the Australian economy and create investment and employment opportunities for the future.”

Thornton added that the decision would slow down the rate of development of renewables projects in Australia and “rattle the confidence” of investors, who have looked for stability after several years of uncertainty. ARENA will still be able to continue its role in driving innovation and leveraging private sector investment in renewables with its altered budget, but it will be “constrained”.

Claire O’Rourke, national director of campaign group Solar Citizens, said: “While we are disappointed that the ALP did not do more to stop this ideological attack by the Federal Coalition, ultimately responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Federal Government.

“We need ever greater levels of investment in innovation and research on renewable energy in this country, not a reduction, it flies in the face of common sense to cut it.”

Earlier this month, a total of 12 projects were awarded funding in ARENA's breakthrough utility-scale solar funding round, which was hailed both as a major success story for Australian solar and proof that ARENA's funding must be secured to ensure successful funding rounds in the future.

Read Next

January 21, 2022
Toronto-based renewables developer Amp Energy has closed on a US$350 million credit facility to advance on a global portfolio of renewables and battery energy storage assets.
January 18, 2022
Prefabricated solar solutions manufacturer 5B is looking to improve the scalability and cost of its technology through an AU$33.4 million (US$24 million) innovation programme and support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
January 12, 2022
Australian LNG player Woodside Energy has tabled plans to build a utility-scale solar-storage project with a generation capacity of up to 500MW in Western Australia.
January 10, 2022
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing AU$40 million in funding to support research and development (R&D) that can help Australia reach its ‘ultra-low cost solar’ goal, recently added as a priority under the country’s decarbonisation strategy.
PV Tech Premium
December 28, 2021
Accurate generation modelling and forecasting is integral to not just the financial performance of operational solar farms, but how they are integrated into modern grids. A study from Monash University in Australia has proven how artificial intelligence approaches can help drastically improve performance forecasts. Dr. Christoph Bergmeir, who led that study, details its key learnings.
December 20, 2021
New research has revealed that solar PV and wind continue to be the cheapest new-build electricity generation options in Australia, even when considering their additional integration costs such as energy storage and transmission. 

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal