Government announces plans to abolish the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
Today the Australian Government has announced its intention to repeal the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011 and abolish ARENA, returning its functions to the Department of Industry and returning $1.3 billion to consolidated revenue - http://arena.gov.au/media/arena-2014-15-budget-statement/
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency was assigned $2.5 billion to fund renewable energy projects and research and development activities, of which close to $1 billion has already been allocated to a range of 181 projects. However, as of the 2014/15 federal Budget ARENA is to be abolished, and its responsibilities transferred to the Department of Industry together with a substantially reduced budget of $30 million. It is not clear what will happen to projects with agreed funding and already underway, but the outlook is definitely very bleak for any new awards. This will be a disappointment to a number of Western Australian resources companies, communities, and utilities, who were looking for ARENA to support renewable energy pilots to supplement diesel generation, through their 'Regional Australia's Renewables' program. See related news story link.