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Australia backs renewable energy push.

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Media Release


Senator the Hon Robert Hill

Leader of the Government in the Senate

Minister for the Environment





Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has predicted that Australia’s renewable energy industry wil l play a world-leading role in the international effort to combat global warming.


Senator Hill has launched two multi-million dollar programs to support the development and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies in Australia.


Senator Hill says the two programs deliver on a key commitment given by the Howard Government in the lead-up to the Kyoto climate change conference.


“As part of Australia’s contribution to the global effort we promised to provide greater resources to our renewable energy industry.


“The $10 million Renewable Energy Showcase and the $30 million Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program deliver on that promise.


“Australia is well placed to be a world leader on renewable energy - we are even producing energy from waste and weeds. Across the nation we are also developing advanced technology in areas such as solar, thermal and tidal power.


“We now need to take the next step to show these technologies are commercially viable. The government’s requirement that electricity retailers source an additional 2 per cent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010 gives added impetus to the development of these new technologies.”


Senator Hill says the two new programs will foster the development of renewable energy sources which will help Australia reduce its projected greenhouse gas emissions.


“The role of the Renewable Energy Showcase will be just as its name suggests - to showcase the very best in Australia’s renewable energy projects.


“These projects will demonstrate the long-term technical and commercial viability of large-scale renewable energy applications.


“They could be solar thermal projects; a central photovoltaic generating plant in a technology park; or a tidal power project. All showcase initiatives will contribute to reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.”


Senator Hill says the Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program focuses on the commercialisation of renewable energy technology.


“Developers of renewable energy technology will be able to apply for grants of up to $1 million to assist in the commercialisation of their ideas.


“This will allow renewable energy projects which have the potential for widespread use to move from the drawing board or pilot project stage, to become a commercial reality.


“We will be able to support those projects which have the best prospects of making a difference in the way we use and source energy in Australia.”


Under both programs, projects likely to receive grants will:


* have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas e missions over the medium to long term;

* demonstrate the potential for commercial application of innovative and cost effective renewable energy technology;

* contribute to the wider development and diversification of Australia’s renewable energy industry, domestically and internationally; and

* Showcase projects will also need to demonstrate a high level of strategic importance and leading edge character.


Further details about the Showcase and the RECP, including application forms, are available from the A ustralian Greenhouse Office (AGO) Program Manager:


Telephone (02) 6274 1880 

 Facsimile (02) 6274 1920 



or the AGO web site at:



Media contact - Matt Brown on 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515.


July 2 9, 1998