Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund Opens

While Queensland and Victorian governments seem to have been taking a razor to renewable energy in the last few days, a bright spot that shouldn’t be overlooked appeared on the Federal front recently.
Australian renewable energy companies will now have access to a $200 million venture capital fund as part of the Federal Government’s promise to fight climate change and promote clean energy jobs.
Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced last Friday the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund is now ready to begin providing cash to new domestic renewable energy companies seeking to expand their businesses at home and abroad.
The scheme is a 13-year co-investment arrangement between the Australian Government; which will put up $100 million, fund management group Southern Cross Venture Partners (SXVP) and Softbank China Venture Capital (SBCVC), which has committed to equally matching the government’s funding dollar-for-dollar.
It will be the largest venture capital fund dedicated solely to helping renewable energy companies and entrepreneurs commercialise their technologies in Australia.
"This is great news for renewable energy companies looking to get ahead and already the fund has received an encouraging amount of interest," said Minister Ferguson.
"The Australian Government is also supporting innovative clean energy technology through a national carbon price side by side with a Renewable Energy Target and an unprecedented $17 billion investment in clean energy technology development and deployment."
Despite some states making major cutbacks on carbon reduction targets and solar energy programs, particularly Queensland in the aftermath of Labor’s crushing election loss at the weekend; the Federal government is pushing ahead with its green policy plans.
Minister Ferguson said the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund will be incorporated under the umbrella of the Gillard Government’s $3.2 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and will look to source private sector investment in a portfolio of early-stage Australian renewable energy companies that are currently constrained in a global market due to lack of capital and international connections.
SXVP is currently investing in companies across the renewable energy sector that fit the Fund investment criteria.