Growth in the Clean Economy

Canberra is a dynamic, knowledge-based economy with the fastest growth rate. We have the second highest concentration of renewable energy jobs in Australia. We’re on track to achieving our 100% renewable electricity target by 2020 with a strong focus on distributed energy storage. We’re also home to tertiary institutions with world-class research capabilities and experience in clean energy technology, economics and policy.

A renewable energy business in the ACT has access to many benefits including:

  • one of Australia’s fastest growing renewable energy investment regions
  • a supportive policy and investment environment
  • a highly skilled labour force
  • strong local business capability
  • Australian Government funding bodies and contracts
  • experienced research and development institutions
  • an established network of renewable energy stakeholders
  • community support for environmental initiatives.

Renewable Energy Innovation Fund (REIF) Grants

Applications for the second round of the Renewable Energy Innovation Fund (REIF) Direct Grants program will open in late August. Further details on timing and how to apply will be available on this page in coming weeks. Applications will also be opening for the new Clean Tech Enterprise scheme, which will offer to co-fund clean technology research, development and deployment projects. Program guidelines and details about how to apply will be on this page from late-August and applications will remain open until funding has been exhausted.

REIF Direct Grants applications will be open for one month after advertisement. Applications for the Clean Tech Enterprise scheme will be accepted at any time and assessed on a rolling basis.

REIF Direct Grants

The Direct Grants program, which is funded through the $12 million REIF, seeks to provide flexible, early-stage funding to support a broad diversity of new and emerging technologies and ventures with the potential to deliver on the energy vision of the future. It also aims to support the development of the ACT as an export-oriented hub for renewable energy innovation and investment.

The REIF Direct Grants program will support a broad diversity of funded activities that will contribute to the development of Canberra’s renewable energy innovation ecosystem by focussing on demonstration and scale-up of new technologies and ventures.

Clean Tech Enterprise scheme

The new Clean Tech Enterprise scheme will be funded through the REIF and will allow opportunities for the REIF to opportunistically co-fund clean technology research, development and deployment projects.

Proposals will be required to secure significant additional cash and in-kind contributions from another funding body. These could include the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), industry funding or other Commonwealth or (non-ACT) state government funding.

Proposals must also meet the REIF objectives of supporting the development of the ACT as an export-oriented hub for renewable energy innovation, and secure direct commercial benefits for ACT companies.

Renewable Energy Innovation Fund

In partnership with industry, the ACT Government is rolling out a comprehensive package of funding to support Canberra-based renewable energy business and attract new ventures to the Territory. Under the guidance of a Business Advisory Board, comprising senior commercial leaders from the ACT and surrounding regions, the Renewable Energy Innovation Fund will allocate $12 million over five years through the following focus areas:

  1. Trades training innovation – to establish world-class training facilities and programs for wind, solar and distributed battery storage installation. This will build on initiatives such as the Renewable Energy Skills Centre for Excellence at the Canberra Institute of Technology.
  2. Energy research partnerships – to further develop the capability of the ACT’s world-class research institutions to provide applied research services to renewable energy and energy storage businesses.
  3. Energy innovation precinct – to provide practical accommodation support and networking opportunities to new and existing renewable energy and energy storage businesses in the ACT. This includes support for identifying market opportunities and mentoring for early-stage businesses.
  4. Technology demonstration – to demonstrate innovative technologies, build industry capacity and reduce deployment costs in renewable energy and energy storage.

Wind energy asset management

Canberra is a hub for wind energy asset management with a number of companies providing real-time asset management services for wind farms across Australia and around the globe. This industry cluster is supported by the Australian National University which offers Australia’s only Masters Course in Wind Development and the Canberra Institute of Technology, Australia’s only provider of the Cert IV course in Large-scale Wind Generation.

Renewable Energy Local Investment Framework

Through its Renewable Energy Local Investment Framework, the ACT Government has four priority areas for renewable energy business development and investment attraction. Renewable energy companies participating in the ACT’s large-scale renewable energy investment program must demonstrate how their proposals and businesses contribute to these priorities:

  1. Deliver enduring benefits to local businesses by including regional contractors and labour force.
  2. Build Canberra’s capacity as a national tertiary education and trades’ skills hub.
  3. Stimulate productive research partnerships to develop the capacity and global recognition of our tertiary institutions.
  4. Grow the local corporate footprint of national and international businesses.

Renewable Energy Industry Development Strategy

Focusing on solar, wind and energy storage, the Renewable Energy Industry Development Strategy brings together existing government renewable energy initiatives and targets the development of a business-research precinct to drive the development of the renewable energy industry in the ACT. Twenty-five organisations across industry, government, and research and training have already signed on as Inaugural Partners to the strategy.

Invest Canberra

Invest Canberra is responsible promoting investments by the ACT Government. It coordinates investor facilitation across Government to provide a case-managed service for major investors. Invest Canberra connects investors to an extensive network of contacts for investment opportunities.

More information: Invest Canberra

More information

More information on ACT Government programs of renewable energy investment: renewables page.

Companies seeking to invest in the ACT can email EnergyPolicy@act.gov.au to obtain more information.