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CEFC accelerates growth and diversity of Australia’s renewable energy sector

6 October 2015


The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is working to unlock investment opportunities that will accelerate growth and diversity in Australia's renewable energy sector. 

CEFC Chief Investment Officer Ted Dow, who addresses the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) national conference in Sydney on Wednesday 7 October, said the CEFC was able to play a significant catalysing role, helping investment projects to achieve success.

"The CEFC is working with business to help turn energy challenges into opportunities. We are developing finance solutions that can deliver innovative, energy productive, sector-building outcomes," Mr Dow said.

"We work with private sector banks, utilities, project sponsors as well as other government programs, sharing our expertise and pioneering new ways to support innovation and accelerate investment into the sector."

Mr Dow said that the renewable energy industry was witnessing rapidly changing economics that would offer further investment opportunity. 

"Solar PV continues to be increasingly attractive for widespread commercial applications, with battery storage technology expected to follow a similar path towards widespread adoption," Mr Dow said.

"The economy is really only now starting to see the full potential of these new technologies. The CEFC is working hard in this space to demonstrate how renewable energy development can lower energy costs and unlock new opportunities with greater productivity for business."

Mr Dow said the CEFC had specialist expertise and an understanding of the broader framework for each venture, involving suppliers, energy off-takers and project operators, with the ability to structure investment terms needed to suit project needs and  bankability.

The CEFC works across the economy, providing finance for projects that improve

the energy productivity and sustainability, financing the rollout of energy saving and capacity building technology upgrades.

The CEFC is also working closely with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support large-scale solar projects and has experience in financing projects bidding for the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

Projects financed by the CEFC that demonstrate this potential include: 

  • The $40 million Sandfire Resources' DeGrussa copper mine solar and storage project in Western Australia. The off-grid high capacity solar power array and storage  demonstrates the scope for reducing reliance on diesel-powered energy in mining operations and remote locations.
  • Australian Paper's premium wastepaper recycling and de-inking plant, which opened at Maryvale in Victoria in April. The facility produces recycled copy paper and is expected to take up to 80,000 tonnes of wastepaper out of Australia's landfill each year.
  • Expansion of the waste-to-energy operations of specialist landfill gas service provider Landfill Gas Industries (LGI). The CEFC's finance to Queensland-based LGI also supports the company's delivery of carbon credits under the Emissions Reduction Fund.
  • Finance for development and construction of the 56MW Moree Solar Farm in New South Wales. When complete, Moree Solar Farm will be among Australia's largest solar power plants and the first large-scale solar farm to use a single-axis horizontal tracking system that allows the solar PV panels to follow the sun to maximise power output.  (UPDATE: Moree Solar Farm began generating solar power in March 2016)
  • Carnegie Wave Energy's development of stage 6 of its CETO wave power technology,  a commercial production version of this technology that uses wave power to pump high pressure seawater to generate electricity and desalinate water. Earlier in 2015, the Western Australian plant became the world's first commercial-scale grid connected wave energy array.