Among its axing of renewable energy programs, the Coalition has announced it also intends to cut funding to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
In addition to dismantling the Clean Energy Future package and shutting down the Clean Energy Finance Corporation; ARENA is also in the Coalition’s crosshairs – however at this point in time how much funding will be slashed is unclear.
ARENA was provided approximately $3 billion to invest in renewable energy projects until 2022. Currently, around $2 billion is uncommitted and available for ARENA to invest in qualifying projects.
Dr Geoff Evans, Campaign Manager for 100% Renewable, says Tony Abbott and the Coalition appear to be ignoring community sentiment in relation to renewable energy in Australia.
“Australians overwhelmingly support an increase in renewable energy. We want government to support a transition to clean energy and to be a world leader in investment and jobs in clean energy.”
“But, based on today’s announcement, it seems like Tony Abbott and the Coalition aren’t listening to Australians, and that the incentives and market security essential for investment are under threat.”
ARENA commenced on July 1, 2012 and was established to support innovations to improve the competitiveness of renewables; plus increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia.
Dr. Evans says while the Coalition claims to be the “party of jobs and business”; the announcement to gut ARENA directly contradicts this.
“If the Coalition wants to win next week, they need to ensure they are listening to Australians. And ordinary Aussies are overwhelming saying the same thing: more renewables, not less,” Dr Evans says.
100% Renewable is a community campaign for clean energy. The group is behind initiatives such as Solar Scorecard; which rates how local politicians stand on issues relating to renewable energy. 100% Renewable also leads Solar Citizens; a project bringing together existing and potential solar owners to ensure the rights of owners of solar power systems are protected and to help further Australia’s rooftop solar revolution.