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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Australian Minister for Industry Tourism and Resources
The Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP
8 June 2005
A $100 million fund to support cutting-edge renewable energy technology development has been officially launched by Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane in Sydney today.
Mr Macfarlane launched the fund while visiting the largest producer of solar panels in the southern hemisphere, BP Solar, which employ more than 300 Australians and has a significant export market into East Asia and the Pacific.
The Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI) will provide matching competitive grants worth between $50,000 and $5 million to Australian businesses developing renewable energy projects with significant greenhouse gas abatement potential.
Mr Macfarlane said the initiative, which is administered jointly by the Department of Industry Tourism and Resources and the Department of the Environment and Heritage, delivered on a key commitment set out in the 2004 Energy White Paper.
"Renewable energy technology plays an important role in our energy mix and is a key element of Australia's overall greenhouse response in the energy sector.
"REDI will support renewable energy projects from early stage R&D right through to commercialisation - helping to develop an internationally competitive renewable energy industry in Australia," he said.
Renewable energy technologies are defined as direct or enabling technologies developed for the purpose of deriving sustainable energy.
This can be derived from the sun; wind; geothermal; biomass (not fossil fuels); hydro systems; wave, tidal and ocean energy; or any other renewable energy source approved by the Australian Greenhouse Office.
Environment Minister, Senator Ian Campbell, said Australia was acutely aware of the environmental benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and industry was responding well to the greenhouse challenge.
"The Government's investment in renewable energy initiatives to date is expected to reduce emissions by around seven million tonnes each year. I'd like to think that in a few years a REDI-funded project will boost that figure even further," he said.
The closing date for first-round funding applications is Thursday, 25 August 2005.
Further information on REDI can be found at www.ausindustry.gov.au or by calling the AusIndustry Hotline on 13 28 46. AusIndustry Contact: Chris Butler, 0411 130677
Marianne McCabe (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580
Kirsty Boazman (Mr MacFarlane's office) 02 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444