ARENA Cuts: Cuts to Renewable Agency Threatens Port Augusta’s Solar Thermal Future and Regional Jobs

The Abbott Government's decision to cut funding to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency in the May 2014 budget seriously threatens the prospects of solar thermal being built in Port Augusta. You can contact Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane on 07 4632 4144 to call on him to back down on cuts to ARENA. See below for our press release:


Repower Port Augusta: Cuts to Renewable Agency Threatens Port Augusta’s Solar Thermal Future and Regional Jobs

The Repower Port Augusta Alliance has slammed the Federal Government’s decision to abolish the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in tomorrow’s budget. The renewable agency was established to support new technologies, such as concentrated solar thermal, which the Port Augusta community has been campaigning for as a replacement to the city’s ageing coal-fired power stations.

“Scrapping ARENA is an incredibly disappointing decision for the Port Augusta community,” Lisa Lumsden, Chairperson of Repower Port Augusta said. “The Government said one thing before the election and now they’re going back on their word. ARENA has the potential to create a huge number of new jobs and fund visionary projects like solar thermal in Port Augusta”.


In January of this year, ARENA provided funding to Alinta Energy to conduct a feasibility study into solar thermal. While this funding is safe, the Repower Port Augusta Alliance wants to see the Federal Government making more funding available for renewable energy, not less.

“Scrapping ARENA makes it hard to see how we could get solar thermal past the study phase and actually start pouring the concrete to make a project happen” Ms Lumsden said. “The Government seems determined to provide no incentive for people to invest in renewable energy - and in doing so, they are putting long-term job opportunities for our community and the rest of regional Australia at risk”.

“Regional Australia has the space, the sun and the wind to really benefit from building renewable energy. Scrapping ARENA and the Government’s plans to scrap the CEFC & review the Renewable Energy Target seriously threaten that opportunity” Ms Lumsden said. “ARENA recently funded the biggest solar PV plant in the Southern Hemisphere near Broken Hill, which is already creating jobs in their community. Port Augusta would welcome that type of investment but the Coalition’s choice to break their promise by abolishing ARENA potentially closes the door”.


“We urge all senators and members of the Coalition to stand up against these clean energy cuts which threaten job creating opportunities for communities like Port Augusta”.

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