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ARENA celebrates $2 billion funding milestone

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has celebrated the successful sign off on $2 billion in funding since its establishment on July 1, 2012.

On December 5, 2022, 10 projects started with ARENA committing a total of just over $48 million, taking the sum of all ARENA funding to $2.04 billion.

While it’s not possible to say precisely which project received the two-billionth dollar, nine of the 10 were part of ARENA’s recent research and development funding round to accelerate ultra low cost solar.

The agency has provided a total of more than $1 billion to solar PV and solar thermal projects during its lifetime.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said ARENA would be looking not just to help boost solar innovation but also other technologies crucial to achieving net zero.

Miller said: “ARENA’s funding spans the entire renewable energy innovation chain.

“From early-stage research to large scale deployment, our programmes and funding are supporting projects from universities and start-ups to some of Australia’s biggest companies to tackle the toughest challenges in the energy transition.”

Miller said that in the past 12 months, the agency’s large scale battery round was supporting 2.7 gigawatts of grid forming large scale battery storage. Other rounds have included funding for hydrogen, low emission metals, flexible demand and decarbonising transport.

“As we look ahead to 2030 and beyond, we recognise there is much more to do to reach our climate targets and get to net zero.

“Our Advancing Renewables Program is continuously open for applications that address our strategic priorities outlined in our Investment Plan.”

Two rounds currently open are Regional Microgrids and Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Program.

Coming up shortly, ARENA will also be launching a funding round to support community batteries.

Miller said ARENA aims to accelerate the affordability of new technologies and build investor confidence in renewable energy projects now and into the future.

Picture: ARENA

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