ARENA was created to accelerate the development of renewable energy for the benefit of all Australians. We emerged from a national desire to build on the successes of the past and to focus on our shared future. With so many new renewable energy ideas and projects being developed, it’s our role to find the best renewable energy ideas and bring them to life.
We were established on 1 July 2012 by The Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011. At that time we took responsibility for a number of programs and projects managed by the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, and the Australian Solar Institute.
Australian Centre for Renewable Energy
The Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) was established to promote the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy and enabling technologies and to improve their competitiveness in Australia.
ACRE commenced in 2009 and was incorporated into ARENA on 1 July 2012.
ACRE managed over $690 million of funding committed to support renewable energy and enabling technology development. The following ACRE programs became the responsibility of ARENA:
ARENA also inherited a number of projects that ACRE had managed under legacy programs including the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program, the Geothermal Drilling Program and the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund.
Department of Resources, Energy & Tourism
ARENA assumed responsibility for projects under the following three programs managed by the former Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
Second Generation Biofuels Research and Development (Gen 2) Program
This was a competitive grants program that supported the research, development and demonstration of new biofuel technologies and feedstocks to help develop the biofuels industry in Australia. Applications for the Gen 2 Program closed on 30 January 2009.
Solar Flagships Program
The Solar Flagships Program was established in December 2009 to support the construction and demonstration of large-scale, grid-connected solar power stations in Australia.
The program supported solar power playing a significant role in Australia’s electricity supply and operating within a competitive electricity market. This program is now closed.
Australian Solar Institute
The Australian Solar Institute (ASI) operated from August 2009 before being merged into ARENA on 31 December 2012.
ASI developed a portfolio approaching $450 million in value from the initial $150 million, supporting over 350 solar researchers across more than 120 projects.
Read more about the Australian Solar Institute.