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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

17 February 2002

$4.28 Million in Funding to Boost Renewable Energy in Outback WA and NSW


People in remote areas of Australia will benefit from $4.28 million in Commonwealth funding, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp announced today.

As part of the move, the Howard Government has approved funding of $3.5 million for Western Australia's Renewable Energy Water Pumping program.

"The funding will help people and businesses in remote parts of Western Australia replace their diesel powered pumps with new solar and wind powered systems," Dr Kemp said.

"With the Commonwealth Government providing up to half the cost of the renewable energy systems, there has never been a better time to convert to clean renewable energy.

"Reliable water systems are crucial in outback Australia and the new generation pumps will be used to provide water for livestock and commercial horticulture projects as well as to help reduce salinity problems in some agricultural areas," Dr Kemp said.

The Commonwealth also announced funding of $780,000 for the New South Wales Renewable Remote Power Generation Program. This program, funds renewable energy installations greater than 10 kilowatts that displace diesel. Businesses and other organisations with remote facilities, will be able to use the funding to install wind turbines and solar panels to reduce their reliance on diesel generators for electricity supply.

"The funds will be used to provide up to half of the initial capital cost of renewable generating technologies installed in remote parts of NSW.

"Through these programs, people in remote areas will cut their reliance on diesel fuel and move towards clean, renewable energy. Some remote consumers will receive the benefit of affordable 24-hour power for the first time," Dr Kemp said.

The funding has been provided through the Commonwealth's Renewable Remote Power Generation Program, which is managed by the Australian Greenhouse Office. Around two hundred million dollars in funding is available over five years to reduce reliance on diesel-based electricity through the installation of renewable energy. The program is being delivered through a cooperative approach between the Commonwealth Government and the States and is administered by the State energy agencies within each jurisdiction. Information about the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program is available at www.greenhouse.gov.au.

Further information on the operation of the Renewable Energy Water Pumping program is available from Mr Craig Sinclair at the Sustainable Energy Development Office WA on (08) 9420 5695. Information is also available from www.sedo.energy.wa.gov.au.

Further information on the NSW Renewable Remote Generation Program is available from Ms Alison Reeve at the Sustainable Energy Development Agency NSW on (02) 9249 6116. Information is also available from www.seda.nsw.gov.au

Media Contact:
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400


Fact Sheet

Renewable Remote Power Generation Program

Many people, businesses and towns in remote locations rely on diesel generators for the provision of electricity. Over 700 million litres of diesel are consumed each year in Australia for the generation of electricity in remote areas.

Due to the high costs of maintaining and fuelling diesel generators, many remote households make do with electricity only being available for 8 to 12 hours a day. Renewable generation (usually photovoltaic panels and wind turbines), combined with inverters and batteries, by contrast can provide access to 24 hour power.

The Commonwealth's aim through the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program is to displace the use of diesel fuels by increasing the uptake of renewable energy technologies in remote locations that do not have access to the main electricity grid.

The Program is managed by the Australian Greenhouse Office and provides Special Purpose Payments to participating States and Territories. Once the Commonwealth has approved a Program, it is administered by State Government energy agencies. Programs typically provide rebates of 50% of the initial capital cost of renewable energy generation equipment and essential enabling equipment that reduces reliance on diesel for electricity generation.

Other projects previously funded under the Program

Western Australia

Northern Territory

Queensland

South Australia

Commonwealth of Australia