Skip to Content

What is renewable energy?

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 technologies that enable energy to be produced day and night, therefore strengthening the electricity grid. This includes battery storage, as well as smart technology that can help predict accurately when and where electricity is required.

What is happening in the energy sector?

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.

How are we making a difference in the renewable energy sector?

Our expertise, deep understanding of the renewable energy sector and 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.

In other words, we help them get on with the business of renewables.

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.

Which projects do we invest in?

We invest in projects to accelerate Australia’s shift to affordable and reliable renewable energy. We find Australia’s best ideas and connect them with the resources they need to help power the nation’s future. This is achieved by funding projectssharing knowledge and supporting networks to drive ideas and bring renewable technologies to market. Our Investment Plan outlines our current priorities and what we want to achieve by funding these areas.

Our investment infographic

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


Our investment in regional Australia

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


Read more

Find out more about how we are influencing the types of renewable energy:

Battery Storage Bioenergy and energy from waste Concentrated solar thermal Demand response
Battery Bioenergy &
energy from
CST Demand

Distributed energy resources (DER) Electric vehicles renewable energy Geothermal energy renewable energy Hybrid energy

Hydrogen energy Hydropower and pumped hydro energy storage Lare-scale solar Ocean energy
Hydrogen Hydro Large-scale

Off grid Renewables for industry Renewables in buildings Solar energy
Off grid Industry Buildings Solar

Solar PV R&D Wind energy System security and reliability
Solar PV R&D Wind System security


Our investment priorities

Australia is encouraging innovation and new technologies and ARENA has a major role to play in supporting the companies and institutions that are building our future energy system.

Our investment priorities are derived from our funding and investment plans and address key areas that can help create a smooth transition to renewables.

Last updated 18 February 2020
Last updated
18 February 2020


Australia’s renewable hydrogen industry prepares for take off

Could the most common element in the universe be the key to a future powered by renewables?

Read more

Green hydrogen injection plan for VIC and SA gas grids

A new centre will investigate the feasibility of blending hydrogen into the Victorian and South Australian gas networks.

Read more

Yara Fertilisers scopes renewable hydrogen switch

One of the world’s largest ammonia producers will explore the feasibility of making a switch to renewable hydrogen.

Read more
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Back to top