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Australia hopes to lead again on solar

Date
12 May 2009

The Australian Government says it hopes to reposition the country as a leader in solar power with the announcement today of a A$4.5 billion package to support the growth of clean energy generation and new technologies.

The announcement was made along with the release of the country's annual budget.

The budget includes:

  • $1.6 billion for solar technologies, including new funding of $1.365 billion for a Solar Flagships program;
  • $2.4 billion for low emissions coal technologies, including new funding of $2 billion in industrial-scale CCS projects;
  • $465 million to establish Renewables Australia to support leading-edge technology research and bring it to market, including new funding of $100 million. The new body will advise governments and the community on the implementation of renewable energy technologies, and support growth in skills and capacity for domestic and international markets; and
  • Up to $100 million for the development of a new National Energy Efficiency Initiative - using 21st century technology to assist transition to a low carbon economy by encouraging a smarter and more efficient energy network.

The Solar Flagships program will aim to create an additional 1000 MW of solar generation capacity through up to four individual generation plants on the national grid. These could be solar thermal and/or solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

The announcement of substantial funding to support the building of industrial-scale CCS projects follows the Government's establishment of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, of which The Climate Group is a founding partner. The Institute supports the G8 target for 20 industrial-scale CCS projects to be operating around the world by 2020.

The Climate Group's Australian Director Rupert Posner welcomed the additional funding for clean energy projects, "Australia used to lead the world in solar power and it is clear the Australian community would like it to again. This announcement will go a long way to helping achieve this."

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