8 June 2013
Renewable energy projects that could dramatically cut diesel use by remote communities and mining companies will benefit from $400 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The Regional Australia’s Renewables program, launched on the 7th June 2013, will provide funding to support the roll-out of renewable energy such as solar, small wind power and hybrid technologies in areas that are located in remote areas or on the fringe of the electricity grid.
Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said the announcement of the program was a welcome boost for the renewable energy industry, and demonstrated the enormous potential for renewable energy to make a positive impact in regional and remote communities.
"We’ve known for quite some time that renewable energy is a viable alternative to diesel-fuelled power generation, but up until now the industry hasn’t had the necessary backing to give it the jump-start it needs to get rolling," Mr Marsh said.
"The cost of technologies such as off-grid solar is actually below that of diesel in many countries. The problem is that the up-front investment for solar is higher, but after that the fuel is free. In comparison, companies will continue paying dearly to operate diesel generators for many years.
"This injection of $400 million into new projects to help regional and remote communities move towards cleaner, safer, and often cheaper forms of energy is welcome news for both the industry and the people living in those communities.
"The opportunities for large industrial users like mining companies to significantly cut their operating expenses by switching to off-grid renewable energy are huge, and we welcome this move by ARENA to assist projects in this area," Mr Marsh said.
For more information on ARENA funding opportunities visit arena.gov.au.
Source: Clean Energy Council (Media Release)< NEWS INDEX