23 March 2016

Driving renewable energy innovation with $1b Clean Energy Innovation Fund

As a strong environmentalist and passionate supporter of renewable energy, I am delighted the Turnbull Government has announced today to retain and reinvigorate the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Australian Renewable Agency (ARENA).

In 2015, I wrote to Finance Minister Mathias Corman and successfully advocated for the expansion of the CEFC’s investment mandate to include wind and small scale solar.

The CEFC and ARENA will work together to provide debt and equity capital for investment in Australian businesses and emerging clean energy technologies. The centrepiece is the establishment of a $1 billion Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

The people of Corangamite are extremely supportive of renewable energy. These changes work hand in hand with the Emissions Reduction Fund, the Renewable Energy Target, the National Energy Productivity Plan and our broader support for clean energy to reduce emissions and drive productivity across the energy sector.

The Turnbull Government’s strong suite of climate change policies will work to achieve our commitment to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.

The new fund will provide debt and equity for a range of market demonstration projects and technologies which are at a less mature stage of commercial deployment.  Examples of this include:

  • scale solar with storage;
  • off-shore energy;
  • biofuels; and
  • smart grids.

Importantly, ARENA will continue to manage its existing portfolio of grants and deliver the $100 million large-scale solar round.  Once the round is complete, ARENA will move from a grant based role to predominantly a debt and equity basis under the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

This is about transitioning Australia’s energy sector to a low emissions future without Bill Shorten’s punishing carbon tax.

23 March 2016