Media release

Govt attack on renewable energy innovation is madness

Cutting innovation funding for renewable energy is economic and environmental madness, the Australian Wind Alliance has warned.


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared he’s pushing ahead with plans to slash more than $1 billion from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which is charged with unearthing the best clean energy ideas and smartest technologies.


Australian Wind Alliance national co-ordinator Andrew Bray says with the shift to renewable energy well underway the country needed ARENA more than ever.


“We need to ensure the transition to a clean energy system is efficient – ARENA plays a crucial role in that process,” Mr Bray said.


“We will need a full range of renewable technologies to complement wind. Under the Prime Minister’s planned cuts it will be so much harder for start-ups and innovative ideas in Australia to gain traction.”


Mr Bray says the Liberal Government’s stance on renewables is confusing.


“The new Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg is talking about bringing more renewables into the electricity grid yet the Prime Minister’s first act upon returning to Parliament will be to slash funding to this sector.


“You can’t claim to be pro- innovation and cut funding for renewable energy at the same time.


“We live in one of the world’s sunniest and windiest places, why aren’t we seizing on these competitive advantages and doing more to grow the jobs-rich renewable energy industry and reduce carbon emissions?”


Mr Bray says the Labor Party needs to stand firm against these cuts to ARENA.


“Bipartisanship on renewable energy policy needs to be a hallmark of this Parliament, but there are lines that can’t be crossed and this is one of them.


“The Labor Party set up a properly funded ARENA with the Greens to provide early-stage grant funding. Now is not the time for Bill Shorten to turn his back on ARENA.”


The Australian Wind Alliance is a community-based advocacy group of farmers, wind workers, small businesses and residents. We share a common vision of harnessing Australia’s world-class wind resources to power our homes, cities and industries with clean renewable energy. Go to for details.