The Albanese Government is putting the R back in ARENA
The Albanese Labor Government will make sure ARENA (the Australian Renewable Energy Agency) will be focused on supporting renewable and related technologies and help boost the level of renewable generation from 30 per cent today to 82 per cent by 2030.
This comes after almost a decade of the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government trying to abolish and then undermine ARENA’s mandate.
ARENA has a crucial role to play to support Australia’s energy transformation and to reach Australia’s 43 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030, but they are hampered in their efforts by three separate attempts to broaden ARENA’s mandate by regulation so it could fund non-renewable technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and blue hydrogen.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency Amendment (Powering Australia) Regulations 2022 will fix that.
Under the Albanese Government’s new regulations, the agency will be given an additional targeted mandate to maximise the take-up of renewable energy.
ARENA works best when it can do what it was designed for – and the agency has delivered $8.05 billion value for the Australian economy off $1.86 billion investment.
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the new regulations for ARENA would help it deliver more renewable energy for Australian households and businesses.
“The best way to put downward pressure on energy prices is to ramp up investment in renewables and that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.
“This Government is delivering on the Powering Australia plan that we took to the election, which included a major boost to renewable energy supplies to help create jobs, reduce emissions and revitalise Australian industry.
"These regulatory changes will help ARENA work with industry on accelerating electrification as well as increasing energy efficiency that will support the overall transition to renewables.”
Decarbonisation of the economy will require large-scale electrification, which may not be exclusively powered by renewables initially, but will draw increasingly on renewable energy over time.
The electrification of industrial processes in the food manufacturing and mining sectors will support the phasing out of fossil fuel technologies and also support new infrastructure such as electric vehicle chargers.
Energy efficiency technologies help reduce energy demand, which in turn reduces costs for consumers and enables the grid to incorporate more renewables.
“The previous Government had a pathological detestation of renewable energy, and the work ARENA was created to do by the previous Labor Government.” Mr Bowen said.
“First, they tried to abolish it in Parliament, then they warped its regulations for political purposes. The Albanese Government on the other hand understands the value of ARENA and will let them get back to doing what they were created to do; supporting renewable energy in Australia.”