Australian Renewable Energy Agency gets a new board and chairman

RCR solar power

Environment minister Greg Hunt has announced six new directors who have been appointed to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) board, The Guardian reports.

The board is to be headed by new chairman Martijn Wilder, an environmental markets lawyer. He is head of Baker & McKenzie’s global environmental markets practice, an adjunct professor at the Australian National University and is the board director of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

Wildman was appointed a board member also. The other five directors are Susan Jeanes, Meg McDonald, Katherine Woodthorpe, Maria Atkinson and Jonathan Jutsen.

Jeanes was a Howard government MP – a climate change advisor, and a chief executive of Renewable Energy Generators of Australia and the Australian Geothermal Energy Association.

McDonald is a former Australian government ambassador for the environment and chief operating officer of the CEFC.

Woodthorpe served on boards ranging from ASX-listed companies to government entities for nearly 20 years.

Atkinson is a director of her sustainability consultancy Maria Atkinson Consultancy, and Jutsen founded Energetics.

De Brouwer is already a director and remains on the board.

The former board member appointments expired in January, leaving the board to be governed by environment department secretary Gordon de Brouwer for this period.

The appointments have come after the announcement of an Arena restructure and the CEFC setting up a clean energy innovation fund. This fund will in time take over Arena’s role of providing grants to help commercialise emerging technologies from a grant-based model.

The government said Arena would continue to manage its existing portfolio of grants and deliver the announced $100m in large-scale solar projects.