Australian Renewable Energy Agency Approves $17 Million R&D Funding

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced approval this week for $17 million in funding for nine R&D projects.

Announced on Wednesday, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said “nine cutting edge research and development (R&D) projects” would be supported though its latest industry-researcher collaboration R&D funding round. The projects have been distributed to several universities across the country, and include projects such as solar thermal, solar storage, biogas, and wave energy. A full list can be found below.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht, who was joined by Australia’s Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, and others, to mark the occasion, believes that the funding will go a long way to creating pathways for renewable energy technologies to step out of the lab and into deployment.

“Each successful project is focused on delivering commercially viable solutions, aimed at solving a current industry challenges,” he said. “The rich array of industry partners shows the breadth of sectors that will be involved in the transformation of Australia’s energy networks and systems. Research institutions will join the resources, agriculture, finance, and property development industries to deliver the projects alongside utilities, power companies and renewable energy businesses.

“ARENA’s $17 million funding is leveraging substantial contributions from private and public sectors, with combined project values totaling more than $54 million. This will tap into our home-grown ingenuity and complement our existing portfolio of 144 R&D projects.”

Project Lead organisation ARENA funding Total value
Integrating Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy into the Bayer Alumina Process University of Adelaide $4,500,000 $15,100,000
Smart sodium storage system for renewable energy storage The University of Wollongong $2,700,000 $10,600,000
Consumer energy systems providing cost-effective grid support (CONSORT) Australian National University $2,900,000 $8,000,000
Utilising biogas in sugarcane transport and milling Queensland University of Technology $2,100,000 $5,700,000
Wave energy cost reduction through location and configuration optimisation The University of Western Australia $994,000 $3,600,000
Real-time operational PV simulations for distribution network service providers Australian National University $1,010,000 $3,300,000
A robotic vision system for automatic inspection and evaluation of solar plants Australian National University $875,000 $3,100,000
Increasing the uptake of solar PV in strata residential developments Curtin University of Technology $900,000 $2,600,000
Maximising solar PV with phase change thermal energy storage University of South Australia $995,000 $2,100,000

However, according to PV-Tech, Australian Solar Council chief executive John Grimes has concerns about the long-term prospects for R&D funding in Australia, due in large part to the recent creation of a $1 billion clean energy innovation fund, which stripped ARENA of $1.3 of its budget.

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

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