ARENA: Prioritize Solar for New Funding Model
Author: Darvin Tocmo Date Posted:17 May 2017
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency prioritizes solar in its new funding model. The Agency looks forward to a more affordable solar energy cost as a result.
Australia’s solar power industry reaches new heights with the help of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Under ARENA’s new investment plan called Innovating Energy, solar energy cost should go down and help the country ease into a low-carbon economy.
The Agency set a staggering budget of $800 million for the new plan. They hope to use the amount in steering Australia’s energy source. The country shifts from conventional fossil fuel to cleaner and more environment-friendly renewables.
Among renewables, the Agency chose to prioritize solar. This not surprising since Australia’s potential as solar energy hub is proven. Despite ups and downs in renewable energy policies, the country still has excellent resources for solar installations. It has strong radiation year-round and massive open spaces.
Lower solar energy cost through innovation
While environmental concerns are always a top priority for any country, the Agency has other reasons to go solar. First, solar is capable of providing secure energy. It is also reliable especially with battery storage in place. Most of all, it offers affordable energy in the long run. This is what ARENA is aiming for in particular, according to its CEO, Ivor Frischknecht.
To lower solar energy cost, they would focus on solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies research and development projects. ARENA believes that Australia has some of the world’s best minds in solar technologies. Hence, they started the solar innovation and research center, A-Lab. They plan to support A-Lab’s research projects for more affordable solar PV solutions.
Australia’s future is in solar
ARENA seeks to invest in technologies that would enable more renewable energy integration into power grids. They are looking into voltage control in addition to energy storage systems to reinforce energy supply.
Within two decades, ARENA sees solar producing thirty percent of Australia’s electricity. They guarantee innovation and research funding to see this vision come true.
Innovating Energy is the Agency’s instrument in helping Australia beat its National Energy Productivity Plan target. They hope that by 2030, the country’s energy productivity will improve by 40 percent.
Starting May 1, 2017, Innovating Energy will assess funding applications.