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Legislation introduced to establish ARENA

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Minister for Resources and Energy Minister for Climate Change and Minister for Tourism Energy Efficiency

12 October 2011

LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO ESTABLISH ARENA Legislation to create the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today been introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament.

ARENA will be established on 1 July 2012 and will oversee around $3.2 billion in Australian Government funding for renewable energy such as solar (including large scale solar), biomass, biofuels, ocean and geothermal. Of this, $1.5 billion is committed to existing projects, and $1.7 billion is uncommitted.

ARENA will channel government funds to support renewable energy technology development.

Together with the expanded Renewable Energy Target and a price on carbon, ARENA will help drive down the costs of renewable energy and encourage its deployment.

ARENA will consolidate and build on the good work undertaken to date by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET), the Australian Solar Institute (ASI) and the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE). The renewable energy sector as a whole will benefit from

this consolidation.

The legislation will enable establishment of the Board (who will be appointed by the Government according to a skills matrix), and the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the independent statutory authority, as well as setting out ARENA’s governance and financial arrangements. DRET will provide ARENA’s administrative and operational support.

ARENA is to have responsibility for:

• providing financial assistance for the research, development, demonstration, deployment and commercialisation of renewable energy and related technologies; • developing skills in the renewable energy industry; • sharing of non-confidential knowledge and information from the projects it funds; and • promoting collaboration on renewable energy technology innovation with state and territory

governments and other institutions, including international governments and institutions.

ARENA centralises the funding of projects currently within the oversight of DRET, ACRE and the ASI. Staff from the ASI will transfer to DRET and provide support to ARENA. It will be largely business as usual for the projects transferring to ARENA.

Alongside ARENA, the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation will also invest in the commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies.

Media Contacts: Fiona Scott (Ferguson) 0457 542 330, Mark Davis (Combet) 0400 295 560