Cuts to ARENA Will Hurt Australia’s Worldwide Research and Development Ranking

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
September 19, 2016

The Guardian said on their report that Australia has consistently led the world with its backing of fossil fuel research and consistently lagged other nations when it comes to developing renewable energy, as stated by the Australian Institute.

The only time in the country’s recent history that R&D for renewable outstripped R&D for fossil fuels was when ARENA began making grants to renewables in 2013 as stated by the International Energy Agency.

The federal parliament is considering the omnibus bill that will include all the savings both Labor and the Coalition yielded into their election promises. It includes a $1 billion cut to ARENA over the forward estimates of $1.3 billion to 2018, which will remove the ability to provide grants, which will essentially abolish the agency.

Among the members of the International Energy Agency, Australia has been in the top 3 countries for its support and funding of fossil fuel R&D most years since 1979, when measured as a percentage of the country’s GDP. And in monetary terms, the country has been in the top 3 for six times. But when it comes to funding renewable energy research and development, Australia was only once in the top 3 in 2013-2014, when ARENA first started giving grants.

Australia’s ranking dropped further in 2014-2015. According to Tom Swann from the Australian Institute, although the senate blocked the coalition’s attempt to abolish ARENA, as the government did not update it’s reporting to the IEA.

The comparisons were made with the 28 other members of the International Energy Agency, which are all major oil importers and have programs to decrease oil demand. It includes the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea and 21 European countries.

Click here to read the full story on The Guardian

Featured Image Credit: Paulo Valdivieso

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