What is the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)?
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is a commercially oriented agency. It was established on 1 July 2012 by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011.
ARENA investments span the commercialisation pathway from research and development to demonstration and near-commercial deployment projects.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) investments span the commercialisation pathway from research and development to demonstration and near-commercial deployment projects. It takes a technology-neutral approach in considering project applications and has a mandate to capture and share knowledge from its projects.
ARENA have two objectives:
- improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies
- increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia.
Research and Development Programme
Purpose: To support world-class research and development in priority renewable energy technologies.
Availability: Applications are accepted only during competitive rounds.
Advancing Renewables Programme
Purpose: To support activities that reduce the cost or increase the value delivered of renewable energy, advance renewable energy technologies towards commercial readiness, reduce or remove barriers to uptake, or increase relevant skills, capacity and knowledge.
Availability: Open to applications for all activities identified in the ARENA Investment Plan, other than those designated as competitive. Applications for the competitive activities are only accepted during competitive rounds.
Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund Programme
Purpose: To foster skills and management capability, and provide funding confidence to renewable energy projects to strengthen their chance of success.
Availability: The REVC Fund supports the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund. Applicants should contact Southern Cross Venture Partners directly to discuss venture capital opportunities.
Clean Energy Innovation Fund
Purpose: To support the growth of innovative clean energy technologies and businesses which are critical to Australia’s clean energy transformation.
Availability: The Fund targets technologies and businesses that have passed beyond the research and development stage and which can benefit from early stage seed or growth capital to help them progress to the next stage of their development.
ARENA provides funding assistance to renewable energy activities according to the General Funding Strategy and Investment Plan. It has approximately $2.5 billion in funding, which is legislated and extends until 2022.
ARENA funds activities that are expected to advance renewable energy technologies towards commercial readiness, improve business models or reduce overall industry costs.
Projects must develop industry-research partnerships with at least one eligible Australian research institution (research partner) and at least one industry partner and address one or more of the four key technology focus areas.
Projects must address one or more of the following four key technology focus areas:
- Balance of System (BoS) cost reduction (either on-grid or off-grid)
Development of new technologies or new applications of technologies and/or processes to reduce renewable energy system payback time and lower levelised cost of energy (LCOE).
Balance of System is the non-generation part of the plant including both hard costs (eg inverter, electronics, etc) and soft costs. For example, in a solar PV plant it does not include the PV modules.
- Integration and high penetration of renewables into networks (either on-grid, off-grid or mini-grids)
New technologies or applications of technologies, including associated financial and economic modelling, to address the challenges of integrating renewables and the grid, and increasing penetration levels.
- Integration of renewable energy for industrial process (excluding electricity generation)
New applications of technologies, including associated new business models, for renewables to provide process heat or cooling where gas or other fossil fuels are typically used.
- Integration of renewable energy into buildings or building materials
Development of innovative renewable technologies for building integrated applications (eg roofing, walls, windows, paint), or heating and/or cooling systems.
Technology developers, researchers and other organisations are invited to submit applications for funding under relevant ARENA programmes.
The Advancing Renewables Programme is open for new applications.
22 January 2020 – Acciona and HZI received $18,000,000
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide $18 million in grant funding to build the waste-to-energy plant in the Rockingham Industrial Zone, roughly 45 kilometres south of Perth.
The 29 MW plant will have capacity to power 40,000 homes from an annual feedstock of 300,000 tonnes of municipal, industrial and commercial rubbish.
29 November 2019 – Neoen received $8,000,000
ARENA has announced $8 million in funding for Neoen to undertake the expansion, and the South Australian Government will contribute $15 million over five years. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has committed up to $50 million in project finance towards the $71 million total cost, which includes development and finance in addition to capital expenditures.
The upgrade will allow the Hornsdale Power Reserve to provide almost instantaneous ‘digital inertia’ to balance the frequency of the electricity network.
25 October 2019 – Mirvac Victoria Pty Ltd (Mirvac) received $784,000
On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced $784,000 in funding to Mirvac Victoria Pty Ltd (Mirvac) to trial their ‘net zero energy’ housing estate in the Melbourne suburb of Altona North.
Mirvac’s master-planned community “The Fabric” will include two, three and four bedroom townhouses and future mid-rise apartments. In the first phase, Mirvac will build 49 new townhouses which will demonstrate the feasibility of achieving net zero energy homes at scale and significantly reduce energy bills for homeowners.
With the support of ARENA the $2 million project will see each of the townhouses designed with a minimum 7 star energy rating. Each townhouse will have a minimum of 3.8-5 kW rooftop solar array, 10 kWh home battery storage, real-time smart home energy monitoring, upgraded wall and roof insulation, double glazed windows and energy efficient electric appliances, heating, cooling, lighting and hot water systems.
18 October 2019 – Alinta Energy Pilbara Finance Pty Ltd (Alinta) received $24.2M
On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced $24.2 million in funding to Alinta Energy Pilbara Finance Pty Ltd (Alinta) to develop its Solar Gas Hybrid project to power Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) Chichester mining hub.
As part of Alinta’s project, a 60 MW solar PV facility will be constructed and approximately 60 kilometres of new transmission lines will link Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mines with the new solar farm.
The project will also see the transmission lines connect the Chichester Hub’s mines and Roy Hill to Alinta’s existing 145 MW gas-fired Newman Power Station and its 35 MW / 11 MWh battery storage system.
10 October 2019 – Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity (A2EP) received $460,500
Since the rise of coal in the industrial revolution, the heat has largely come from fossil fuels. Gas, coal and oil have underpinned much modern manufacturing, but renewable alternatives are emerging – particularly for lower temperature processes.
Now, as part of its newly-announced support for Australian industries to lower emissions, ARENA is providing $460,500 in funding to the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity (A2EP) to help businesses make the switch to renewables.
The funding will support manufacturers to undertake feasibility studies into projects that will reduce emissions, lower energy bills and help to bring down the cost of new technologies.
04 October 2019 – Wave Swell Energy received $4,000,000
The funding will support Melbourne-based Wave Swell Energy to design, construct, install and operate a 200 KW UniWave device in shallow waters off King Island’s coast.
Wave Swell Energy CEO Dr Tom Denniss said he expects the project to be the first of many using their new way of generating electricity from the power of the ocean.
15 April 2020 – ARENA opens $70 million funding round to fast track renewables for hydrogen
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has opened a new $70 million hydrogen funding round for applications that the agency hopes will fast track the establishment of a globally competitive hydrogen industry in Australia.
ARENA’s Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round will target support towards the deployment of new large-scale electrolysers, that produce hydrogen from water using electricity.
11 December 2019 – A new $15M funding round to support solar panel recycling
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has launched a $15 million funding round to support projects aimed at cutting the cost and amount of waste created by solar panels that have reached the end of their working lives.
ARENA announced the new funding round on Wednesday, its fifth in support of solar PV research and development in Australia.
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