About the Australian Renewable Energy Agency
ARENA investment strategy announced
$3.2 billion ARENA established
The Federal Government has passed legislation to establish the $3.2 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). This includes $1.7 billion in uncommitted funds.
ARENA will be an independent statutory authority, supported by administrative and operations from the Department of Resources Energy and Toursim and undertake the following functions:
- provide financial assistance for the research, development, demonstration, deployment and commercialisation of renewable energy and related technologies
- develop skills in the renewable energy industry
- share of non-confidential knowledge and information from the projects it funds
- promote collaboration on renewable energy technology innovation with state and territory governments and other institutions, including international governments and institutions.
The supported technologies are to include hybrid and enabling technologies.
The new legislation allows for the appointment of the Board and CEO. The Board will consist of 6 members and the Secretary, with members holding experience in at least one of the areas of renewable energy, commercialisation, business investment or corporate governance.
The Board will be required to develop a funding strategy for the 2012-13 financial year as soon as practicable after the start of that financial year. The strategy will be published on ARENA’s website and outline the objectives and priorities for the organisation for the financial year.
Interestingly, the legislation (s64) sets out the minimum budget appropriations for each financial year for ARENA out to 2020, at an average of around $300 million annually. The first tranche is allocated for the 2012/13 financial year.
As was announced earlier, the following programs and any funding agreements to which the Commonwealth was a party to at the time of the commencement of the ARENA legislation will be transferred to ARENA, including;
- The Solar Flagship Program
- The Renewable Energy Development Program
- Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund
- The Emerging Renewables Program
- The Geothermal Drilling Program
- The Second Generation Biofuels Research and Development Program
- Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund
- ACRE solar projects.
Similarly, all funding agreements that are agreements of the Australian Solar Institute by the start of 1 January 2013 will be transferred to ARENA.
For more information, visit www.arena.gov.au.