ARENA takes out inaugural clean energy award

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Solar panels at Laing O’Rourke’s 1MW solar-diesel hybrid plant image courtesy Redeployable Hybrid Power

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has become the first recipient of the Clean Energy Award at the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards in Melbourne.

The clean energy award recognises the efforts of those working towards a more sustainable future through the development and deployment of renewable energy programs or processes.

The agency’s CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the recognition is encouraging for the relatively young organisation approaching its third anniversary.

“ARENA targets its investment to advance the renewable energy technologies most likely to deliver an affordable, diverse and resilient energy future for Australians,” he said.

“To date, ARENA has committed $1.1 billion in 230 projects that are helping to reduce the cost and increase the use of renewable energy in Australia.

“Our role is unique in that our support extends across the innovation pathway, from early research to large scale projects on the brink of commercial viability.”

One of ARENA’s key goals is to help renewable energy technologies get to market faster by building partnerships, increasing knowledge, reducing risk and attracting investors.

“ARENA’s portfolio of high quality projects includes several world or Australian firsts, many of them at the research end of the development pathway,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“At the deployment end, ARENA is supporting a number of landmark projects, which in total are expected to deliver close to 500MW of renewable energy almost exclusively in remote and regional Australia.

“In addition to creating jobs, growing skills, advancing renewable energy and contributing to the nation’s economy today, ARENA investment is also laying the foundations for tomorrow’s energy in Australia and beyond.

“I look forward to continuing our work to deliver the next generation of renewable technologies in Australia, home to some of the best renewable resources in the world.”