The most important initiative towards renewable energy was the Energy White Paper which was announced in 2004. The initiative includes several measures and is worth AUS$700 million. Besides the national policies mentioned here various state and territory governments have implemented measures to increase the uptake of renewable energy.
Renewable Remote Power Generation Program
The "Renewable Remote Power Generation Program" provides up to 50% of the capital cost for installing new renewable power facilities in off-grid applications. The funds are available to participating States and Territories on the basis of the certified amount of diesel fuel excise paid in each State or Territory by off-grid public generators. Since December 2004 solar thermal technology is also eligible for funding under this program. The funds are allocated to the states in order to best meet the different characteristics of each jurisdiction and RRPGP implementation is different in each State and Territory. The opportunity to obtain funding is largely determined by the RRPGP sub-programs available in each jurisdiction. The budgets provided are for the lifetime of the program. Detailed sub-program information and application forms can be obtained from the relevant State and Territory web sites. Installations must be able to demonstrate that they displace diesel power with renewable energy to be eligible for funding. Funding covers capital costs including renewable energy generation equipment, enabling/ancillary equipment and essential expenditures such as installation costs and is available through either approved State or Territory projects or programs administered by participating States or Territories. There are also national projects approved and administered by the Australian Greenhouse Office.
Renewable Energy Development Initiative
The "Renewable Energy Development Initiative" (REDI) is a competitive merit-based grant program over seven years supporting renewable energy innovation and its commercialization. It provides grant funding up to $100 million in competitive grants to allocate to Australian businesses. It offers grants between $50,000 and $5 million for early-stage commercialization projects with high commercial and greenhouse gas abatement potential.
The "Solar Cities" program trials new sustainable models for electricity supply and use. It committs $75.3 million to fund a series of trials aiming to gauge the benefits of concerted use of solar and energy efficient technologies combined with interval metering. In this program distributed solar technologies such as solar thermal, energy efficiency, load management, smart meters and cost-reflective pricing will combine in large-scale grid-connected urban sites. Solar Cities are implemented through trials in Adelaide, South Australia and at least three other electricity grid-connected urban areas around Australia. Through the "Solar Cities" trials, barriers to solar generation and demand side participation in grid-connected urban areas will be addressed.
Climate Change Strategy - Low Emissions Technology and Abatement
The "Low Emissions Technology and Abatement" (LETA) initiative was introduced in 2005 and is a $26.9 million measure over four years to encourage on-going investment in the development, demonstration and deployment of smaller-scale low emissions technologies, and other cost-effective abatement activities in business, industry and local communities. Elements will also include renewable energy. The initiative has a budget of $18 million until 2008.