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Gov establishes A$500m renewable technology fund

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The federal government this week announced a A$500-million investment in the Powering Australia Technology Fund to help Australian businesses progress innovative projects and technologies to reduce emissions.

This funding will be provided to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to increase the commercialisation of renewable energy, energy efficiency and other innovative clean energy technologies.

The investment will build on the CEFC’s role as a specialist investor to help deliver on Australia’s ambitions for a renewable and clean energy future.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said the government is getting on with delivery, after a decade of denial and delay.

“Through the Powering Australia Technology Fund, Australian businesses will be able to scale up creative projects using clean energy technologies. The government is ensuring the world’s largest green bank can continue to support the commercialisation of innovative new technologies, such as energy-efficient smart city sensors and innovations in solar arrays and battery technologies.

“While we excel in research, Australia has been losing out for too long when it comes to commercialisation. We need to continue developing innovative technologies that will help power Australia, and realise more of their economic benefits here.”

This fund aims to leverage off another A$500-million from the private sector and include a “growth capital” offering for clean energy technology businesses looking to expand. It will be similar to the CEFC’s successful Clean Energy Innovation Fund, which supports early-stage companies developing technology to reduce emissions across the economy, from transport to agriculture, waste and energy-demand management.

Through amendments to the CEFC Act, as part of a Treasury Amendment Bill, the A$500-million will be added to the CEFC Special Account and the details of the fund will be included in the CEFC’s investment mandate. The CEFC will make investment decisions under the Fund in accordance with its legislation, statutory independence and technology eligibility rules.

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