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About ARENA

The energy sector is undergoing a profound and complex transformation as the shift to renewable energy gathers momentum.

Transitioning the electricity system to deal with an increasing share of renewables and different ways of operating is challenging, but it presents many opportunities to help businesses manage their energy costs as well as capture new sources of growth.

Electricity is only one component of the energy transition. Other sectors such as transport, heavy industry and the built environment are crucial in the pursuit of lower emissions and in ensuring Australia meets its international commitments.

There are many scenarios for the transition to a low emissions economy but technological development and innovation are part of almost every scenario.

Our expertise, deep understanding of the renewable energy sector and our willingness to fund innovative and ground-breaking projects mean we provide a pathway to commercialisation for many new technologies and businesses that would otherwise struggle to get off the ground or be potentially lost to overseas markets. We help them get on with the business of renewables.

At ARENA, we also actively identify and troubleshoot issues arising from the energy transition – from technological and commercial issues to regulatory and market barriers, and provide funding for projects that help solve these issues.

We undertake research and inform policy decisions, we bring together people from across the energy sector, government, startups and universities to collaborate with one another, and share their knowledge.

ARENA at a Glance

Infographic - The scale of our investment nationally since 2012

$1.48B invested, 513 projects, $5.58B value.
Download ARENA at a Glance (PDF 1MB)

Brochure - Investing in regional Australia

A snapshot of our work.
Download investment brochure (PDF 1MB)

Timeline

Scroll through our interactive timeline to view our achievements.

Electric vehicles
Hydrogen energy
Large-scale solar
ARENA Australian Renewable Energy Agency

$278 million committed to 48 projects

Solar

$85.2 million committed to 14 projects

<b>$85.2 million committed to 14 projects</b>

Launched the R&D Program
• ANU developed solar cells using nanoparticles that generate more electrical current than thin-film cells

Solar

$399.8 million transferred to ARENA across 96 projects

Parkes Solar Farm

• Inaugural CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, appointed
• Managed a portfolio of more than 150 projects valued at $1.1 billion
Launched four major initiatives totalling $560 million (I-RAR, CARRE, ASCI, SHARE)1
• Catalysed the creation of the large scale solar industry by providing $268 m to build a combined capacity of 211 MWAC across three solar farms

2012

ARENA Act commenced providing ARENA with $2.5 billion in funding to invest until 2022

• Absorbs Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) and the Australian Solar Institute (ASI), which includes the ERP, REVC Fund, ABIR Program, Gen 2 Biofuels Program, ACAP, ASTRI and Solar Flagships Program2
• Commits $824m to projects under programs absorbed (above)

2011
Solar PV

1. I-RAR – Regional Australia’s Renewables Industry Program, ASCI – Accelerated Step Change Initiative, CARRE – Regional Australia’s Renewables Community and Regional Program, SHARE – Supporting High-value Australian Renewable Energy Knowledge

2. ERP – Emerging Renewables Program, REVC – Renewable Energy Venture Capital, ABIR – Advanced Biofuels Investment Readiness, Gen 2 – Second Generation Biofuels Research Development Program, ACAP – Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaic, ASTRI – Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute

Last updated 18 February 2020

ARENAWIRE Blogs

Thinking deep about distributed energy

As Australians continue the uptake of small-scale energy assets such as rooftop solar and home batteries at unprecedented rates, the energy industry is yet to reach consensus on how best to support this transition and keep up with the pace of change.

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Solving the Energy Puzzle – Introducing our new podcast series

As we enter a new decade, ARENA is launching season three of our podcast ReWired. Together we will look at the pieces of Australia’s energy puzzle, and learn how they might come together in a future powered by renewables.

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What are renewable energy zones, and why do they matter?

It is true that the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, but with the right transmission infrastructure we can harness energy from a variety of sources across the country.

Read more
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