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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

AUSTRALIA BACKS RENEWABLE ENERGY PUSH


29 July 1998
(84/98)

Robert Hill has predicted that Australia's renewable energy industry will play a world-leading role in the international effort to combat global warming.

Senator Hill has launched two multi-million dollar programs to support the development and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies in Australia.

Senator Hill says the two programs deliver on a key commitment given by the Howard Government in the lead-up to the Kyoto climate change conference.

"As part of Australia's contribution to the global effort we promised to provide greater resources to our renewable energy industry.

"The $10 million Renewable Energy Showcase and the $30 million Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program deliver on that promise.

"Australia is well placed to be a world leader on renewable energy - we are even producing energy from waste and weeds. Across the nation we are also developing advanced technology in areas such as solar, thermal and tidal power.

"We now need to take the next step to show these technologies are commercially viable. The government's requirement that electricity retailers source an additional 2 per cent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010 gives added impetus to the development of these new technologies."

Senator Hill says the two new programs will foster the development of renewable energy sources which will help Australia reduce its projected greenhouse gas emissions.

"The role of the Renewable Energy Showcase will be just as its name suggests - to showcase the very best in Australia's renewable energy projects.

"These projects will demonstrate the long-term technical and commercial viability of large-scale renewable energy applications.

"They could be solar thermal projects; a central photovoltaic generating plant in a technology park; or a tidal power project. All showcase initiatives will contribute to reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions."

Senator Hill says the Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program focuses on the commercialisation of renewable energy technology.

"Developers of renewable energy technology will be able to apply for grants of up to $1 million to assist in the commercialisation of their ideas.

"This will allow renewable energy projects which have the potential for widespread use to move from the drawing board or pilot project stage, to become a commercial reality.

"We will be able to support those projects which have the best prospects of making a difference in the way we use and source energy in Australia."

Under both programs, projects likely to receive grants will:

Applications for funding for Showcase will close on 28 August 1998 and for RECP will close on 25 September 1998.

Further details about the Showcase and the RECP, including application forms, are available from the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) Program Manager:
Telephone (02) 6274 1880 Facsimile (02) 6274 1920
Email renewable@deh.gov.au

or the AGO web site at: http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/

Media contact - Matt Brown on 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
July 29, 1998
84/98

Commonwealth of Australia