With an informative reply from the director of the co-ordination and renewable energy branch of the Department of Climate Change and Renewable Energy Efficiency we learn that over $5 billion dollars have been set aside for research and business development for the development of renewable energy initiatives in Australia through the Gillard governments within the Clean Energy Initiative to be administered by the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy.
The flagship of this enterprising funding is the Solar flagship program which will fund one solar voltaic renewable energy project and one solar thermal energy generation project. The funds allocated to this is $1.5 billion.
In addition the government’s Clean Energy Initiative is drawing together $560 million under the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) to encourage development of project research efforts that can be implemented into viable product to produce electrical renewable power for Australia’s future energy needs.
Another $100 million dollars as part of the ACRE initiatives is allocated under the Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund to help support private investment in critical early stage investments for the development of emerging renewable technologies.
The last program mentioned in the reply letter, but probably at least the most important is the building of supporting infrastructure for the emerging renewable energy industry in Australia. Without extensive government investment in this crucial area of infrastructure, few projects remain viable away from the existing electricity grid. Private investment is unlikely to provide capital for this type of visionary but risky type of venture. With $1 billion invested by the federal government under the Connecting Renewables program and a commitment to see the project finished, operational and utilised by the renewable energy industry, the government is committed to build new electricity connections over the next ten years to remote areas where higher levels of solar, wind and other renewable energy supplies are available.