The support of key cross-bench senators is a big boost for the majority of Australians who want more renewable energy, the Clean Energy Council said today.

Clean Energy Council Deputy Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the industry welcomed the support of Senator Ricky Muir of the Motoring Enthusiast Party and the Palmer United Party (PUP) for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

“ARENA was originally formed with bipartisan support to develop the next generation of clean energy technologies,” Mr Thornton said.

“In the two years since it was formed, ARENA has shown it has a critical role to play in supporting the innovation and development of the renewable energy sector, particularly large-scale solar projects, solar R&D and the emergence of geothermal and marine energy.  

“The renewable energy sector was disappointed when the government announced it would shut down ARENA and slash its funding, after making a commitment to the agency in the run up to the last election,” he said.

Mr Thornton said closing ARENA would be ‘a massive blow’ to the hundreds of companies that had invested and employed people to help build an exciting future for solar, geothermal and marine energy in Australia.

“It would also send a strong message to international companies that Australia is closed for business when it comes to new and innovative clean energy technologies,” he said.

“The Palmer United Party senators and Senator Muir clearly understand the potential of renewable energy to deliver substantial economic benefits and power the future of Australian industry.”

The support for ARENA comes after PUP restated its support for the Renewable Energy Target, a policy that has delivered over $20 billion worth of investment and led to well over 3 million Australians now working or living beneath a set of solar panels. 

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.