Investment plan

ARENA aims to further reduce the cost of solar thanks to a new investment plan

The 50 MW Kidston solar project in North Queensland. Image: Genex Power.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will support projects that further lower the cost of renewable energy production as part of a new investment strategy to support the transition to net zero emissions.

ARENA funding will be used for projects that optimize the electricity transition – including energy storage, large-scale grid integration and flexible demand – through an expanded mandate that will also see the agency supporting the commercialization of “clean” hydrogen for domestic and export applications.

“We must use Australia’s abundant solar and wind resources to generate, use and deliver renewable energy,” said Darren Miller, CEO of ARENA. “We need to optimize this transition through energy storage, large-scale grid integration, flexible demand and further reduction in solar and wind energy costs. “

Miller said the new priorities take into account key technologies and sectors that Australia can benefit from in the transition to net zero emissions.

ARENA’s expanded mandate will also allow it to support low-emission aluminum and steel production and explore opportunities to increase carbon capture and storage (CSS).

The investment plan is in line with the Australian Government’s Low Emission Technology Roadmap, which was launched last year and prioritizes five areas including hydrogen production, energy storage long-lasting and CSS.

While this roadmap will see the country investing more than A $ 18 billion (US $ 12.91 billion) in low-emission technologies over the next decade, the plan has not committed to a target. zero net emissions by 2050.

Since the launch of the roadmap, ARENA has since secured A $ 1.62 billion in funding from the government as part of the agency’s expanded mandate to explore the development of technologies such as energy storage. and hydrogen.

“We are at the start of a critical decade for Australia and the world as we make the investments needed to reduce emissions in line with international commitments. To achieve net zero, we must invest today in the technologies that will transform our energy system and our economy in the years to come, ”Miller said.

Since its founding in 2012, ARENA has provided A $ 1.77 billion in funding for more than 600 renewable energy projects. Earlier this year, he selected three green hydrogen projects that will share A $ 103 million to support their development.

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