Feb 1 (Renewables Now) - Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has asked the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to encourage the development of flexible capacity and large-scale storage projects in Australia.
The two agencies said on Wednesday they will support demonstration projects as a prelude to developing a framework for a flexible capacity or large-scale storage funding round.
ARENA will call for expressions of interest for demonstration projects under its Advancing Renewables Program (ARP), with at least AUD 20 million (USD 15.1m/EUR 14m) expected to be allocated. Projects providing flexible capacity to the system such as battery storage, pumped hydro, concentrated solar thermal, biomass and demand management technology are eligible to participate in the initiative.
Those successful in getting ARENA funding will be able to secure long-term debt finance from the CEFC. The latter is also open to considering finance solutions for projects not seeking ARENA funding.
"The cost of generating energy from wind and solar has come down fast and is continuing to decline. If we are to maximise Australia’s strategic national competitive advantage in clean energy, we need to complement this with energy storage and grid stability services," said CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.754/EUR 0.702)