Renewable Energy Fund (Australia)

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In the 2007 election campaign the Australian Labor Party promised that it would establish a $500 million Renewable Energy Fund to "develop, commercialise and deploy renewable energy in Australia."[1]

Labor's Announced Policy

In its election policy, the Labor Party stated that the fund would provide $1 for every $2 invested by the private sector. The ALP stated that the fund would "aim to support renewable energy demonstration projects already underway and to expand the range of renewable technologies."[1]

It flagged that the sort of projects that could be supported through the fund included[1]:

  • solar thermal projects;
  • geothermal power projects
  • wave power projects;
  • hybrid technologies such as solar thermal and geothermal;
  • biomass projects such as one using "municipal and food waste into high value renewable base load electricity".

"Funding will be distributed through competitive grants, based on the goal of encouraging a range of technologies across a range of geographic areas. In some cases, more than one demonstration plant might be funded for a particular technology, where the projects are seeking to demonstrate different forms of the technology," the ALP stated.[1]

It specifically announced that $50 million from the fund would be earmarked for geothermal energy development and in particular to subsidise "the cost of drilling geothermal production wells". It stated that "the $50 million in funding would be provided as a dollar for dollar subsidy and be capped at $5 million per well. Individual companies would be eligible for up to two grants each. This initiative will help get the sector over the short-term hurdle of high drilling costs, which is delaying the ability of companies to verify the concept and resource, meaning the first small scale geothermal power plants driven could be in place in the next four to five years."[1]

In mid November 2007, late in the election campaign, the Labor leader Kevin Rudd detailed that -- while describing the program as a $500 million fund -- his government would provide only $225 million over three years. In its costings, the ALP stated that the government would contribute $75 million each year between 2008-2009 through to 20010-2011.[2]

2008 Budget Decisions

In its 2008-2009 budget, the Rudd government announced that the Renewable Energy Fund would be funded to the tune of $500 million over six years but that the start date for the fund had been pushed back a year to 2009-2010.[3]

The budget papers also revealed that the government had pared back the initial funding of the scheme from $75 million a year to be $55.5 in its first year, $71 million in its second year, and 101 million in the third year when the nexet federal election is scheduled for.[4]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Renewable Energy Fund", Australian Labor Party, undated but 2007.
  2. "Federal Labor's Clean Energy Plan To Help Tackle Climate Change", Media Release, November 14, 2007.
  3. "Climate Change: Tackling Climate Change: Budget 2008-2009", Australian Government, accessed September 2008.
  4. "Climate Change: Table 3: Tackling Climate Change: Budget 2008-2009", Australian Government, accessed September 2008.

External articles

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