Federal Budget 2011: Renewable energy start-ups get $100m VC fund

Start-ups in the renewable energy sector have been pledged greater support with the establishment of a venture capital fund for the industry.

 

The Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund has been given $100 million until 2023-24 to assist early-stage companies dealing in solar, wind, geothermal and wave energy technologies.

 

The Government says that fund, along with the carbon price, will help it meet its renewable energy targets. It has previously pledged that Australia will derive 20% of its energy via renewables by 2020.

 

The VC fund, which will be administered by the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, will be used to commercialise emerging renewable technologies.

 

The Government says the fund will be “critical” in providing funding for green start-ups with limited track records. Applications have already been opened for two VC fund managers.

 

Meanwhile, funding for the Emerging Renewables program has been boosted from $40 million to $100 million.

 

The scheme aims to reduce the cost of renewable energy technologies and develop skills in the sector.

 

The Government says that applications for the program are expected to open in the coming months.

 

The Government has previously been criticised over a perceived lack of support for renewable start-ups, with the Clean Energy Council claiming that frequent changes to legislation, such as incentives for solar power installation, had meant that progress in the industry has been “stop-start.”

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