Up to $2.5B in funding is available from ARENA to make renewable energy solutions more affordable and increase the amount of renewable energy used in Australia.

 

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.

 

Objective

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.

 

ARENA Programmes

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.

International Engagement Program

 

Funding

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.

 

Eligible Projects

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

 

Eligible Applicants

Technology developers, researchers and other organisations are invited to submit applications for funding under relevant ARENA programmes.

 

Timing

The Advancing Renewables Programme is open for new applications.

Applications for the International Engagement Program close 15 December 2017.

 

More Information

 

Recipients

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today awarded $9.6 million in funding to 12 projects and studies to further integrate distributed energy resources (DER) into the electricity system.

ARENA is providing $7.21 million to five pilot projects led by Zeppelin Bend, Jemena, SA Power Networks, Solar Analytics and RACV. Each project will trial novel approaches to increasing network hosting capacity with the objective of allowing the system to operate securely whilst maximising the ability of distributed energy, such as solar PV, to provide energy to the grid.

A further $2.38 million has also been allocated to seven studies led by CitiPower & Powercor, Dynamic Limits, University of Tasmania, CSIRO, Oakley Greenwood, the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne. The studies will investigate how to successfully integrate high penetrations of DER into the grid and into the energy market.

DER encompasses behind-the-meter technologies such as rooftop solar, home batteries, inverters, controllable loads both in homes and commercial and industrial facilities, electric vehicle charging points, smart appliances and systems (such as fridges, air conditioning systems, hot water heaters and pool pumps) as well as relevant enablers such as smart meters and data services.

Among the five projects funded is the Evolve project led by Zeppelin Bend, funded with the NSW Government, which will see software trialled on the NSW grid that will act as a traffic controller able to send signals to DER assets to increase or decrease their energy output to manage grid congestion.

The seven studies include an ANU study on community energy models and a CSIRO study to prepare a model of the low voltage grid for public use.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said these 12 projects and studies will help to maximise the potential benefits of DER technologies owned by households and businesses.

The funding initiative complements work that ARENA is already undertaking in the DER space, including the announcement last year of the Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP); an initiative that has the energy industry working together to enhance the potential of consumer owned energy resources. DEIP is a collaboration of energy peak bodies, market authorities, industry associations and consumer associations.

 

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