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Transport part of CEFC focus on investment opportunities

Article published in Highway Engineering Australia, October/November 2015

Transport is one of the key areas in which the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is working to unlock key investment opportunities for Australia's cities of the future.

Other areas identified for funding by the CEFC are clean energy and greener buildings.

Corporation CEO, Oliver Yates, told the Smart Future Cities 2015 conference in Newcastle on 1 October that there was significant opportunity to invest in technologies that would help Australians live in cleaner, energy efficient, connected and productive cities.

"Australia is one of the world's most urbanised countries with almost 90 per cent of us living in urban areas; and why not? Australian cities regularly rank among the most liveable in the world," Mr Yates said.

"To keep us at the forefront of liveability, planning and investment is needed now as we transform our cities to a low carbon future."

Mr Yates said that since its inception, the CEFC had made $1.4 billion of investment commitments towards projects with a total value of more than $3.5 billion.

"Australian cities can benefit from a broad range of clean energy technologies, such as LED street lighting, solar PV and battery storage, smarter energy management, waste-to-energy plants and cleaner cars. 

"The CEFC's investment in these areas is helping generate cleaner power, accelerate the take-up of energy efficient technologies and cut energy costs for businesses, local governments and households.

"We're providing finance for better buildings, cleaner energy, more efficient vehicles and energy productivity for businesses across the country."

Mr Yates said global research showed investing in public and low emission transport, building efficiency and waste management in cities could generate worldwide savings of more than $24 trillion by 2050.

"This represents a great opportunity for Australian cities and the CEFC is working to help unlock investment opportunities for smart future cities, in transport, clean energy and greener buildings."

The Smart Future Cities 2015 conference and exhibition in Newcastle from 1-2 October, was the first of its kind to be held in Australia.

It was an initiative of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment at the University of Newcastle, in partnership with the Regional Clean Energy Program of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, and The City of Newcastle.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has developed financing solutions designed to accelerate investment into the clean transport sector. It also works with major banks and lenders to leverage its funding to increase investment capital available to the sector.

The CEFC and leading Australian non- bank lender, Firstmac, have a $50 million asset finance program which provides finance for highly efficient cars and light vehicles. The program is designed to further boost Australia's switch to low emissions and electric vehicles, and can be used by fleet managers to purchase low emissions and electric vehicles.

Working with the CEFC, National Australia Bank has a $120 million finance program, marketed as the Energy Efficient Bonus, under which businesses can upgrade to higher fuel efficiency vehicles and equipment, including hybrid and electric vehicles and related  infrastructure.

The CEFC's Energy Efficient Loan program with Commonwealth Bank has up to $200 million available for financing manufacturing and not-for-profit organisations looking to upgrade equipment, including vehicles, with more energy efficient technologies.

For further details about the CEFC visit www.cefc.com.au.