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ACRE Grants a Wish: Geothermal Gets First Bite at Funding

March 8, 2012

Today in Sydney the Australian geothermal industry had a meeting at which financing woes were discussed by a range of industry and finance participants.  At the meeting, the Australian Federal Minister, Martin Ferguson, duly stepped up to the mark to announce the first of the ACRE Emerging Renewables funding agreements.

Under this agreement, a company called National ICT Australia will receive $1.9m to undertake a preparatory industry ‘Measure’ to identify and map geothermal resources in Australia.

The Minister’s press release can be found here.

A significant chunk of the $126 million that Emerging Renewables has to spend has been earmarked for geothermal.

The sector is going to need that cash, and then some, which is lucky as there’s another $1.7bn in unallocated capital associated with ARENA, which is due to come on-stream later this year.

Then there’s the $10 bn Clean Energy Finance Corporation – the other Federal Government renewable energy fund, which noone quite yet knows what it will do (though we do know where it will be – in Sydney).

So there’s lots of cash looking for problems – and geothermal has a few (high capital costs, unexciting returns, technical risk etc)

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