Low-cost finance will be accessed by small businesses to support the adoption of renewable energy, in partnership with the councils and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in NSW and South Australia.
The program follows a model that is set out by the City of Melbourne,a place where upgrades and construction to buildings will be financed through the council.
The current announcement expands this model through the Sustainable Australia Fund to NSW and SA.
Businesses will be able to take out long term loan and a low cost to pay for upgrades to their buildings in the region. The program is accessible for owners of non-residential and commercial buildings. Darren Miller,ARENA CEO, outlined that how the program will benefit businesses.
“This project will help support find alternative energy sources, businesses to reduce emissions and help to understand barriers in the uptake of renewables in the commercial, agricultural and industrial sectors,” he added.
The current announcement aims to enable easy and quick access to finance for businesses and remove administrative burdens for councils, said CEO of the Sustainable Australia Fund Scott Bocskay.
“To address a gap in the market we created Better Building Finance – to help councils administer it for them and offer finance. We can expand this service With ARENA’s support, and help more businesses access this finance to unlock utility bill savings along with becoming more sustainable.”
To ensure the longevity of the program outcomes such as this was also the topic of a separate ARENA announcement on December 11, with the Agency announcing $15 million in funding for efficiency research and solar panel recycling.
The actual goal of this funding aims to resolve the effect to solar panels when they reach the end of their life, through greater recovery of materials and better design, and the use of recycled components in newly developed panels. The research will not only benefit the users of the panels but producers of photovoltaics as well, noted Millar.
“Lower cost and More efficient solar PV can underpin the growth of a renewable hydrogen industry, can drive the electrification of transport and industrial processes, and can reduce the costs of delivering secure and reliable renewable electricity.”