Australia’s $10b clean-energy bank set to announce solar deals


The Australian Government’s A$10 billion clean-energy bank, which operates under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Act 2012, is set to announce a number of solar deals in the next week as it looks at investments in renewable energy, low-emission technology and energy efficiency in Australia’s industries from mining to manufacturing.

Image credit: flickr User: Maximilian Kühn
Image credit: flickr User: Maximilian Kühn

“The interest in solar is across the board,” Clean Energy Finance Corp. Chief Operating Officer Meg McDonald said yesterday after a presentation in Sydney.

According to Bloomberg, the CEFC – which was created as part of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s legislation to reduce carbon emissions – has invested more than A$800 million in over 50 projects in its first year alone and has been a devout lobbyist to “stay in business amid efforts by the Tony Abbott-led government to dismantle a price on carbon emissions and related agencies.”

Clive Palmer, whose Palmer United party holds the balance of power in Australia’s upper house starting this month, announced last week that he set to reject the Prime Minister’s plan to scrap the clean-energy bank.

He also said he supports keeping Australia’s renewable energy target to get 20% of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

“There had been an acceptance that everything was going to go,” McDonald said in the presentation, referring to Abbott’s plans. Gore’s “intervention allowed space for a rethink about what the future looks like,” she said.