Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon says clean energy investment in NSW is under serious threat after Labor struck a deal with the Coalition today to cut $500 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
“Today Labor took clean energy investment backwards by striking a dirty deal with the Coalition to cut half a billion dollars from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA),” Senator Rhiannon said.
“This deal highlights the Coalition’s false commitment to innovation, and Labor’s false commitment to clean energy.
“Since ARENA was established in 2012 it has delivered $1 billion to 250 renewable energy projects, including a total of $268.4 million for large scale solar projects in Broken Hill, Nyngan and Moree. The power plant in Broken Hill reduces more than 105,840 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, on average.
“ARENA has also helped to develop critical research and development, and issued a $35.9 million grant for The Australia-US Institute for Advanced Solar Photovoltaics at the University of NSW, who are leading research efforts across the country.
“Not only is this a brutal blow to clean energy investment, research and development across the country, it is a huge setback for regional communities in NSW, who benefit from projects like these,” Senator Rhiannon said.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation were negotiated by the Greens as part of the carbon price package.
The Greens will introduce an amendment to protect the entire $1.3 billion of ARENA funding.