Renewable Energy Future Fund launched
As part of the budget package, the Government yesterday announced the launch of the ‘Renewable Energy Future Fund’ consisting of a further commitment of $652.5 million over four years for development and deployment of both renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.
In tandem, the Government announced additional funds channelled through existing mechanisms – the Australian Solar Institute, the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, and the Solar Flagships Programme.
The latter, controversially, does not really seem to suggest that it will contribute much in the way of technology development or proof for a large part of the funds: it will apply to conventional solar photovoltaic systems (with technology largely off-the-shelf and imported into Australia).
A tax benefit for Geothermal exploration – which can involve costly and risky drilling – was simultaneously announced.
Details of the operation and disbursement principles of the fund have not yet been elaborated/announced. Whether it can get past the deficiencies of other Commonwealth mechanisms allegedly pertinent to clean-tech development (ref: Climate Ready; Commercialisation Australia) is to be seen. Watch this space.
The announcement can be read here.