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Climate Change Alert: $10 billion in renewable energy funding available from next year - 5 Jul 2012

Up to $10 billion will be invested in renewable energy, low emissions and energy-efficient technologies under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012, passed by the Senate late last month.

The Bill establishes the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which will invest in renewable projects from 1 July 2013 until 2017. Companies engaging in renewable energy projects will be able to apply for funding from the Corporation, which will focus on renewable energy using hybrid technologies or low-emissions efficiency energy.

Here, partner Michele Muscillo and senior associate Gavin Batcheler outline the Clean Energy Finance Corporation's focus and criteria for funding.

Key points

  • The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will focus on renewable and low-emissions/efficient energy, including power produced through solar, wind, hydro, wave, geothermal, biomass and biofuel technologies.
  • The Corporation will take into account the size and non-financial benefit of the project when assessing applications.
  • There will be separate funding streams for renewable energy sources and low-emission/energy-efficient technologies.

Anticipated funding criteria

While no strict funding criteria have been announced so far, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will take into consideration:

  • the non-financial benefit the project will have - in particular, the research and development of technology; and
  • the size of the project, with larger projects appearing to have priority.

Funding will be assessed in two separate streams:

  1. Renewable energy sources
  2. Low-emission/energy-efficient technologies

Renewable energy sources

A technology must be 'renewable energy' within the meaning of the Australian Renewable Energy Act 2011 - either a 'hybrid technology' or a technology which relates to or enables renewable energy technologies.

Established technologies such as wind farms are included in this definition, as are storage technologies and infrastructure supporting renewable energy projects, such as transmission lines and interconnectors. However, carbon capture and storage technology and nuclear power are ineligible for funding.

Low-emission/energy-efficient technologies

Emissions of technologies must be at or below 50 percent of the emissions intensity of the electricity grid to be eligible for funding. In addition, a project may be more likely to receive funding if the primary purpose of capital expenditure is energy efficiency.

If you think your project may qualify or if you would like to know more about this initiative, please contact HopgoodGanim's Climate Change team.