Renewable energy is produced using natural resources that are constantly replaced and never run out.
Just as there are many natural sources of energy, there are many renewable energy technologies. Solar is one of the most well known, wind power is one of the most widespread, and hydropower is one of the oldest. Other renewable technologies harness geothermal energy, bioenergy or ocean energy to produce heat or electricity.
Equally exciting are new enabling technologies that help to manage renewable energy so it can be produced day and night while strengthening the electricity grid. These enabling technologies include battery-storage, supply prediction and smart grid technologies.
Solar energy is energy generated from the sun’s heat or sunlight. Solar power is energy captured from the sun which is converted into electricity, or used to heat air, water, or other fluids.
Hydropower uses the force or energy of moving water to generate power. This power is called ‘hydroelectricity’.
Bioenergy is derived from biomass to generate electricity and heat, or to produce liquid fuels for transport. Biomass is any organic matter of recently living plant or animal origin, such as agricultural products, forestry products, municipal and other waste.
Geothermal energy is stored as heat in the earth.The heat is generated by the natural decay over millions of years of radiogenic elements including uranium, thorium and potassium.
Ocean energy is a term used to describe all forms of renewable energy derived from the sea. There are two types of ocean energy: mechanical energy from tides and waves, and thermal energy from the sun’s heat.
A hybrid technology is one that integrates a renewable energy generation technology with other energy generation systems, such as Solar with gas, or wind.
Wind energy is generated by converting wind currents into other forms of energy using wind turbines. Wind turbines convert the force of the wind into a torque (rotational force), which propels an electric generator to create electricity.
So what does ARENA do?
ARENA helps bring the best renewable energy ideas to life.
We invest in projects to accelerate Australia’s shift to affordable and reliable renewable energy. We find Australia’s best renewable energy ideas and connect them with the resources they need to help power the nation’s future.
We do this by funding projects, sharing knowledge and supporting networks to drive ideas and bring renewable energy technologies to market.
Thanks to our ARENA funded projects we have helped to achieve 14 world or Australian-firsts and have helped to break at least 11 solar cell efficiency world records. Our large-scale solar round will create more than 1400 new jobs across the country, reviving rural towns and creating new industry supply chains in regional Australia. And we are looking for opportunities to export our ideas and products to the world.
We think the future looks bright. Projects we have supported have already attracted over $1 billion in funding. And we have $3.5 billion more worth of projects in the pipeline.
Together, our current and future funded projects will help deliver affordable, reliable and even profitable renewable energy for Australian families and businesses.