The Clean Energy Council is calling for the Federal Government to commit to extending and funding the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) beyond its current 2021 expiry date.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thorntonsaid: “ARENA is at the centre of Australia’s low-emissions technology agenda and is a critical institution to the delivery of the Technology Investment Roadmap.
“ARENA will be vital over the next decade and needs at least $2 billion to ensure it can continue its work in accelerating the clean energy transition. The Agency must remain unencumbered by the interests of the fossil fuel industry and focus solely on the role of clean technologies.”
The Council made its call with the appointment of new Chair to ARENA, Justin Punch.
Clean energy has delivered an enormous economic boost to Australia during the past few years as a result of unprecedented investment in large-scale wind, solar and storage as well as a record number of Australians investing in the installation of rooftop solar and household battery solutions.
However the Coalition has been hostile to the three main federal levers driving renewables since it first came to office – the Renewable Energy Target (RET), ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
Thornton said: “As Australia begins the process of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions like ARENA will help advance the technology required to boost our clean energy resources and our capacity to deliver cheaper power across Australia, bolster our manufacturing industry and create more jobs to keep our economy moving.
“A Clean Recovery has the backing of the International Energy Agency, the World Bank and hundreds of multi-nationals and thought leaders across the world.”
He said ARENA is critical to the mission of developing a clean hydrogen sector powered by renewables capable of replacing LNG exports.
“But the clock is ticking. Other countries are also investing in building supply chains, and we must act swiftly if we wish to achieve our stated goal of becoming a global clean energy superpower and exporter of clean energy to Asian markets.”
Thornton congratulated out-going ARENA Chair Martin Wilder on his tenure.
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