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Australia. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has laid out its new investment priorities for the coming years and has promised to accelerate solar PV innovation and development to the point where it believes solar could provide 30% of Australia’s electricity within the next 20 years.

Announced on Monday, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) revealed its new Investment Plan outlining its investment priorities for the next few years, in which it hopes to guide almost $800 million (AUD) in funding. ARENA, in its new plan, Innovating Energy, has set out four new priorities:

  • Delivering a secure and reliable electricity system
  • Accelerating solar PV innovation
  • Improving energy productivity
  • Exporting renewable energy

“As Australia shifts from fossil fuel generation to a low emission energy system with more renewables and more distributed energy resources, we need to make sure energy is secure, reliable and affordable,” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said.

ARENA also promised it would focus specifically on research and development of solar PV. “Australia has some of the best solar researchers in the world, and we plan to support them so they can continue making solar PV more competitive and affordable,” Frischknecht boasted.

Among its top priorities for solar PV innovation and development is substantially reducing the cost of solar PV here in Australia. “By funding further innovation, we could see solar power produce 30 per cent of Australia’s electricity within 20 years,” Frischknecht said.