ARENA chief executive to step down

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht

After overseeing 320 projects that have led to more than $3.5 billion dollars of investment in the past six years, Ivor Frischknecht has announced he will be stepping down from his role with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Mr Frischknecht has informed the Minister for the Environment and Energy and the ARENA Board he will not seek reappointment as chief executive officer when his term expires in August this year.

Having joined ARENA in 2012 as the agency’s founding CEO, Mr Frischknecht has helped ARENA to support over 300 renewable energy projects, driving technical and commercial innovations in solar PV, batteries, biofuels, hydrogen, solar thermal, tidal energy, pumped hydro, distributed energy and demand response.

During his tenure, ARENA has provided more than $1 billion in funding which has been matched by $2.5 billion in private investment, and has helped to make large-scale solar commercially competitive in Australia.

“After six years, I’ve decided now is the right time to move on to new challenges and spend more time with my family,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“This has been a difficult decision, but I’m pleased to be able to hand over the reigns at a time when ARENA is playing a more integral role than ever in the transformation of the energy sector.

“I’m confident I am leaving ARENA in very capable hands with a team of dedicated, smart and inspiring people who are making a significant contribution to changing our energy system for the better.

“ARENA has more than $550 million of funding remaining to invest over the next four years, so there is a lot of work still to be done but we have the best team on the job and a clear plan for future investments.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved at ARENA and the organisation is well respected and positioned for an exciting future.”

Mr Frischknecht has helped to make ARENA a success by utilising his expertise in energy, innovation and early stage investment, Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said.

“Under his guidance, ARENA has developed a clear set of priority investment areas consistent with the Turnbull Government’s emphasis on affordable and reliable energy,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“Of significance ARENA has invested in the construction of 12 new large-scale solar farms, a variety of battery projects and the feasibility study for Snowy 2.0 during Mr Frischknecht’s tenure.

“He has strengthened key relationships between ARENA, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).”


Mr Frischknecht will remain in the role until a new CEO is appointed to ensure a smooth transition.

A search for a new CEO will now commence.

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