RENEWABLE ENERGY INNOVATION AND INVESTMENT AT RISK FROM CEFC AND ARENA MERGER
The Turnbull government’s reported plan to combine the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency is a risky gamble on the future of renewables in Australia, according to Solar Citizens.
National Director Claire O’Rourke said the reports of funding ARENA’s grants program with borrowings would harm research and development, demonstration projects and deployment projects, all core elements that ensure technological advances and strategic investment are possible.
“You can’t fund a 100% clean, renewable energy future for Australia by gambling on secure, long-term funding for major proven programs that support innovation and investment in renewables, including solar and wind,” she said.
“In the lead-up to the Federal election, we are surprised to see the Federal government pass the buck on innovation in the renewables sector.
“Funding ARENA’s grants with borrowings will see research and development disappear and it will reduce the likelihood of investment in demonstration projects.
“Deployment projects, which receive the largest proportion of ARENA's funding, would also see a dramatic fall in activity as investors would no longer have the ability to effectively manage risk or guide projects in the medium-to-long-term.
“The uncertain investment environment for renewables has already placed Australia in jeopardy of falling a long way behind the rest of the world as renewables boom and global jobs growth ramps up.
“The Federal Government should immediately restore full funding for ARENA and keep both ARENA and the CEFC organisations well supported so we can lead the world on renewable energy innovation, investment and deployment,” she said.
Claire O’Rourke is available for immediate interview.
Media contact: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533