The federal government has announced that it will provide funding via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to build an online platform that encourages businesses to start using renewable energy.
The Business Renewables Centre Australia will be a resource centre and an online marketplace designed to accelerate the purchase of renewable energy by Australian businesses and local councils through corporate power purchase agreements.
ARENA will provide $500,000 in funding to Climate-KIC Australia, the national wildlife conservation organisation WWF-Australia, and UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures for the $1.74 million project. The NSW and Victorian Governments have each provided $150,000.
Climate-KIC Australia is an goverment-supported organisation that brings together industry, research centres and universities to develop renewable energy strategies and solutions.
The project’s goal is to help Australian businesses and local governments procure 1 gigawatt of installed renewable energy by 2022 and 5 gigawatts by 2030.
ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said that the Business Renewables Centre Australia would facilitate a transformation in how energy is supplied to businesses.
“The future for energy is a large number of smaller renewable generating facilities often developed by non-generating entities,” Miller said.
“The Business Renewables Centre will help in that transition in using its vast expertise in running programs, entrepreneurship, innovation, education and other sustainability objectives to make it easier for companies and councils to enter into the renewables market.”
The new centre will draw on the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Centre in the USA, which provides its members with information, a network of energy buyers and project developers, inexpensive training and advice on power purchase agreement requirements.
WWF Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said that the Business Renewables Centre Australia will build on the success of WWF’s Renewable Energy Buyers Forum and the recent growth in corporate renewable power purchase agreements.
“The future of renewables in Australia looks positive because it makes sound business sense. Contracting for long-term renewable energy will save customers money and will support growth in renewable energy infrastructure across Australia,” O’Gorman said.