The Abbott government announced recently that it will cut $435m (14.5%) from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

ARENA was set up to fund renewable energy projects and research and had a budget of $3 billion. It drew together funds from existing grant programs and has helped to finance projects such as solar and wave energy.

Australian Solar Council, Chief Executive John Grimes, declared in a media release that the funding cut “represents a massive lost opportunity for direct climate change action in Australia”.

“ARENA has played a critical role in supporting world leading solar research and development and ARENA funding support has allowed Australia to remain at the cutting edge of solar innovation. We continue to see world beating solar breakthroughs coming from our highly skilled solar researchers.”

“The Australian Solar Council calls on the Parliament to block any attempt to gut the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.”

“The work that ARENA does is an excellent example of Direct Action. This independent agency, with its annual funding prescribed in legislation, backs practical programs. This is about real action in the real world.”

For information on the Australian Solar Council, go to www.solar.org.au.