The Government will launch a $652 Renewable Energy Future Fund in order to promote the commercialisation of renewable technologies as part of the 2010-11 Federal Budget.
The new project was created in response to the shelving of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, with the Government saying the funding for that project will now be used to offset the cost of the new fund.
Treasurer Wayne Swan said the fund, which is part of the Government’s $5.1 billion Clean Energy Initiative, will make use of private sector investment in order to support renewable energy projects, along with the development and deployment of low-emissions technologies.
“It will also be used to enhance Australia’s take-up of energy efficiency, including helping households and businesses reduce their energy consumption,” Swan said.
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Through partnership with businesses in the private sector, the fund will support “critical early stage investments” in order to commercialise renewable technologies.
“Funding will be delivered through a number of departments and agencies, with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency coordinating Fund priorities and progress,” the Government said.
“Details of the specific commitments will be announced in the future.”
The Government also said the fund will complement existing proposals, including the Renewable Energy Target which is designed to ensure 20% of Australia’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2020, such as wind, solar and geothermal power.
Another $6 million will be provided for the RET scheme, which will see it separated into two parts: the large-scale renewable energy target and the small-scale renewable energy target.
The large-scale target will cover “significant” projects such as wind farms, commercial solar and geothermal projects and will take up most of the scheme. Small-scale targets will cover smaller technologies such as solar panels and hot water systems, and will provide a fixed price for RET certificates of $40 per megawatt hour of electricity.
As a result of the new fund, the Government said its total investment in clean energy and energy efficiency now totals $10 billion.