This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
ARENA celebrated the milestone at Parliament House in Canberra last night, alongside the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) who are marking their own decade of financing renewable energy projects.
Established on July 1st, 2012, ARENA has supported 632 projects with $1.96 billion in grant funding.
ARENA’s expertise paves the way for commercialisation of technologies and businesses that would otherwise struggle to get off the ground or be lost to overseas markets.
An early achievement for ARENA was its role in kick-starting the large-scale solar industry in Australia. This support has helped to significantly bring down costs to the point where solar is now the cheapest form of energy available in the country.
ARENA has also provided funding to:
- grid scale batteries across South Australia, Victoria and NSW
- early-stage development of Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project
- Australia’s first national electric vehicle fast charging networks
- various microgrid projects in regional communities.
Into the future
ARENA is championing ultra-low-cost solar and has set an ambitious target of ‘Solar 30 30 30’ — to improve solar cell efficiency to 30% and reduce the total cost of construction of utility scale solar farms to 30 cents per watt by 2030.
The agency is also focused on scaling up production of low-cost renewable hydrogen and decarbonisation for heavy industry, including low-emission materials such as green steel and aluminium.
ARENA continues to support the electricity transition through large-scale energy storage and flexible demand, while looking to decarbonise land transport.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said, ‘We’re excited about the future in which we expect to uncover and develop new and emerging low emissions technologies that will ensure we achieve our goal of net zero by 2050.
‘Supporting innovative technologies like ultra-low-cost solar, large-scale storage, demand flexibility, renewable hydrogen and low emissions metals will lead us in the right direction for this critical decade.’