The Australian Government has recently announced that it is establishing a A$1 billion (US$670 million) Clean Energy Innovation Fund to support emerging clean energy technologies.
The Clean Energy Innovation Fund will be jointly managed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). It will provide both debt and equity for clean energy projects.
By offering innovative equity and debt products, the Clean Energy Innovation Fund can accelerate the availability of new technologies to transform the energy market, and deliver better value for taxpayers. There is growing maturity in the Australian clean energy market, but early stage clean energy projects can have trouble growing to the size and maturity needed to attract private equity.
The Clean Energy Innovation Fund will target projects such as large-scale solar with storage, off-shore energy, biofuels and smart grids. An example of a project could be a large scale solar facility with storage in Port Augusta.
The A$1 billion Clean Energy Innovation Fund will be established from within the CEFC’s A$10 billion allocation. This new fund will make available A$100 million a year for ten years.
The new fund will work hand in hand with the Emissions Reduction Fund, the Renewable Energy Target, the National Energy Productivity Plan and other strategic support for clean energy to reduce emissions and drive productivity across the energy sector.