ARENA targets 30% solar generation within 20 years

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is accelerating its solar PV innovation schemes and wants 30% of the country’s electricity to be generated from this source within 20 years.

ARENA announced its new Investment Plan today, outlining its investment priorities for the next few years, in which it hopes to guide almost $800 million (AUD) in funding. ARENA, in its new plan, Innovating Energy, has set out four new priorities:

  • Delivering a secure and reliable electricity system
  • Accelerating solar PV innovation
  • Improving energy productivity
  • Exporting renewable energy

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said: “As Australia shifts from fossil fuel generation to a low emission energy system with more renewables and more distributed energy resources, we need to make sure energy is secure, reliable and affordable.”

He said that ARENA is looking for new ways to adapt the electricity grid to increase productivity, make the grid more flexible and better integrate renewable energy so it can be stored and shared when and where it is needed. 

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the agency will be increasing its spend on solar and PV research

As part of this focus, ARENA will be looking at a range of flexible capacity technologies and mechanisms from storage to demand response that will allow us to match electricity supply and demand at all times.” ARENA also promised it would focus specifically on research and development of solar PV. “Australia has some of the best solar researchers in the world, and we plan to support them so they can continue making solar PV more competitive and affordable,” Frischknecht said.

Among its top priorities for solar PV innovation and development is substantially reducing the cost of solar PV in Australia. “By funding further innovation, we could see solar power produce 30 per cent of Australia’s electricity within 20 years,” Frischknecht said.

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