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AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY
STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS
The Australian Government established the Australian Centre
for Renewable Energy (ACRE) in 2010 as a key component of
its $5 billion Clean Energy Initiative to promote the
development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable
energy and enabling technologies and to improve their
competitiveness in Australia.
ACRE Strategic Directions
The ACRE Board has released Strategic Directions, which outlines how it proposes to achieve ACRE’s
objective and discusses the key initiatives that ACRE will undertake. It also articulates principles and
technology priorities that will guide ACRE’s funding support decisions as well as approaches that will be
incorporated into the management of ACRE’s programs and other activities.
Key recommendation
Strategic Directions recommends the creation of an expanded Emerging Renewables program, consisting
of the $40 million Emerging Renewables 2010 election commitment, combined with ACRE’s other
unallocated funds. This could potentially extend the funding envelope for Emerging Renewables to more
than $100 million, of which at least $40 million would be available for developing technologies such as
ocean and geothermal.
ACRE Board Vision
National energy markets delivering competitively priced renewable energy sourced from a diverse
range of technologies.
What is ACRE?
ACRE has three components:

an independent, statutory advisory board established by the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy
Act 2010 – the ACRE Board;

a statutory Chief Executive Officer who is an ex-officio member of the ACRE Board; and

staff from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
ACRE’s approach
ACRE aims to provide a one-stop-shop for renewable energy technology companies and developers. The
approaches outlined in the Strategic Directions that the ACRE Board will incorporate into its work include:

supporting both project and capacity building measures, including information dissemination;

providing for ongoing interaction with companies that are developing promising technologies;

targeting support at technologies that offer the most potential benefit while promoting a diversity of
technologies to the extent possible;

increasing collaboration and leveraging funds from other government agencies and the private sector; and

reviewing renewable energy trends and broader policy settings.
ACRE’s support will target technologies along the innovation chain.
ACRE will offer a range of funding support mechanisms, including grants and venture capital equity.
ACRE’s technology priorities
While ACRE is open to supporting any compelling technologies, it will favour projects and measures
consistent with the priorities as outlined in the Strategic Directions for each sector:
 Solar - compelling enabling technologies, including storage, grid connection technologies, and hybrid systems.
 Geothermal - facilitate national coordination; facilitate resource discovery and proving; and/or support
pilot demonstration projects to enable learning by doing and information gathering and dissemination.
 Wind - enabling technologies that may significantly improve grid connection issues, or measures to
broaden understanding of wind development issues.
 Ocean - monitoring developments internationally and assisting the development of nationally
consistent regulatory regimes around state and commonwealth ocean jurisdictions. ACRE may
consider supporting selected pilot-scale ocean energy technology projects.
 Bioenergy - assessment of sustainable and economic pathways, R&D and pilot projects for secondgeneration biofuels projects, and biopower and bioheat projects.
 Hybrid - projects that facilitate early commercial deployment of renewable energy technologies.
 Enabling technologies - selected technology concepts with breakthrough potential for Australian
conditions.
ACRE’s initiatives
ACRE draws together more than $690 million in Australian Government funding for renewable energy and
currently manages a number of programs that support renewable energy technologies. The key new
initiatives outlined in the Strategic Directions that ACRE will deliver include:
 Establishing an Emerging Renewables Program
The program will provide at least $40 million for emerging technologies that can support the production
of large-scale base load power, such as geothermal and wave. The program will be designed to
incorporate many of the funding approaches outlined in the Strategic Directions.
 Establishing a Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund
The Fund will make critical early-stage equity investments that leverage private funds to help
commercialise emerging renewable technologies.
 Establishing an Australian Biofuels Research Institute
The institute will focus on research into second-generation biofuels and addressing food security issues.
 Conducting regional and remote renewable energy studies
These studies will identify opportunities for greater deployment of renewable energy in regional and
remote areas, including the Midwest and Pilbara regions in Western Australia, and along the proposed
Townsville-Mt Isa transmission line.
ACRE will also continue to manage the existing programs it delivers, which include:







Renewable Energy Demonstration Program
ACRE Solar Projects
Second Generation Biofuels Research and Development Program
Geothermal Drilling Program
Wind Energy Forecasting Capability Program
Renewable Energy Equity Fund
Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies Program
Next steps
ACRE will conduct its activities in a manner consistent with Strategic Directions. The Government will
issue its response to the recommendations outlined in Strategic Directions in the coming months.
Contact: ACRE Strategy and Secretariat 02 6243 7338