The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) says it will focus specifically on fostering the nation’s solar power industry under a new $800 million investment plan.
The plan, dubbed Innovating Energy, sets out new priorities for the Agency as it helps guide Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy.
“As Australia shifts from fossil fuel generation to a low emission energy system with more renewables and more distributed energy resources, we need to make sure energy is secure, reliable and affordable,” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said in a statement.
The plan includes investing in a range of technologies to integrate more renewable energy into electricity grids, such as storage and voltage control systems to shore up supply of energy.
“We want to demonstrate how renewable energy can add value to the electricity system while also minimising costs and maintaining security and reliability,” Mr Frischknecht said.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency: Funding solar innovation
The Innovating Energy plan also includes a renewed emphasis on funding research and development of solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies as part of a global effort to drive down the cost of solar energy.
ARENA has launched A-Lab, an innovation and research hub for solar start-ups, grid companies and energy providers to develop better solar cell technology and design bigger and more efficient solar power plants.
“Australia has some of the best solar researchers in the world, and we plan to support them so they can continue making solar PV more competitive and affordable,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“By funding further innovation, we could see solar power produce 30 per cent of Australia’s electricity within 20 years,”
Model boosts energy productivity, security
For the first time, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency says it will focus specifically on fostering the nation’s solar power industry under a new $800 million investment plan. has made energy productivity one of its top priorities. By investing in advanced fuel-switching, electrification and energy efficiency technologies.
The plan will help Australia meet – or exceed – the National Energy Productivity Plan target to improve energy productivity by 40 percent by 2030.
“With the right investment and innovation, Australia can be a world leader in providing low emissions energy to countries with limited resources of their own,” Mr Frischknecht said.
From May 1st 2017, all funding applications will be assessed under the Innovating Energy priorities. ARENA has launched a new website to reflect its adjusted funding goals.