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ACRE’s Emerging Renewables Program to Announce First Winners

February 9, 2012

Sources indicate that the Australian Government’s flagship renewable energy commercialisation program, Emerging Renewables, will soon initiate a process to notify applicants as to grant funding outcomes.

It is expected that some program responses will be issued within the next two weeks.

The program was opened to applicants as of August last year, and remains open.

At this blog, we have already reviewed the Emerging Renewables program proposition.

At first, Emerging Renewables officials expected a very rapid turn-around time.  Evidence suggests that the quantity and spread of applications has meant a significant backlog has formed.  The ACRE Board, which only meets periodically to assess applications, has been struggling to get through this volume of work.

Emerging Renewables has over $100m to spend.  It is anticipated that the funds and program will likely be folded into ARENA – the new entity established by the Government under the carbon tax legislative package.

We maintain that the scope of ARENA needs to be more expansive.  The geothermal technology carve-outs in Emerging Renewables make no practical sense, and the policy decision to base funding scope on the extent to which technologies are applicable in Australia is, to put it mildly, inefficient.

Emerging Renewables will have taken at least six months to disburse first funds, with applicant technology companies left in the dark about possible outcomes in the interim.  Capital-intensive high-risk businesses can’t thrive with these constraints. Formulating an effective support policy isn’t easy, but will someone please turn on the lights at Australia’s clean tech innovation programs?

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