Clean Energy Finance Corporation boosts investment commitments

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has released updated figures on its investment program, committing almost $2.1 billion across 35 transactions in 2016-2017.

In total over its first four years, the CEFC has invested $4.3 billion, in projects with a total value of $11 billion.

CEFC 2016-2017 commitments included an additional $300 million towards asset finance facilities for business, manufacturing and agribusiness. These facilities have now delivered more than 2,000 investments in energy efficiency equipment and low emissions vehicles Australia-wide.

Each dollar of CEFC investment commitments in 2016-2017 was matched by more than $2 from the private sector, with the investment portfolio expected to generate a return above the Government's costs of funds.

In its statement, the CEFC said its commitments focused on industry sectors with the strongest potential for decarbonisation, including electricity generation, transport, property, infrastructure and manufacturing.

CEO Ian Learmonth said Australia's clean energy sector is coming of age, with investment activity increasingly stretching across the economy.

“Working alongside co-investors and developers, CEFC finance is helping tackle some of Australia's toughest emissions challenges, while delivering business benefits through lower energy consumption,” he said.

"The accelerated pace of CEFC commitments in the past financial year reflects an improved policy environment and increased investor confidence. As a specialist investor in clean energy in Australia we welcome the increasing investor recognition of the diverse uses and considerable positive benefits of clean energy, from renewables to energy efficiency and low emissions technologies."

Amongst investments highlighted in the statement are:

  • Additional finance for SGCH (St George Community Housing), which is building 500 new energy efficient homes for low income families.

  • Commitments to market leading projects with Investa and AMP, demonstrating how proven and readily-available technologies can help contribute towards zero net emissions in property.

  • The CEFC's first infrastructure investment, in Qube's Moorebank intermodal project, which will aims to reduce freight transport emissions.

  • Investing in 10 large-scale solar projects in regional Queensland, NSW and Victoria, including alongside ARENA, as well as additional CEFC investments in solar and wind.

  • Investing in Australia's world-leading lithium resources, to capitalise on the energy storage market for grid-scale batteries and electric vehicles.

  • Finance for Geelong-based Carbon Revolution, to increase production of its carbon fibre wheels, which reduce vehicle weight, fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

  • Backing for GreenSync, wh is commercialising smart software controls to extend the benefits of clean energy and battery storage to more businesses and consumers.

  • CEFC was a cornerstone investor in eight of Australia's 14 climate bond issuances to date, including a $20 million commitment to the world's first university climate bond, with Monash University.

The CEFC has three investment programs:

  • the Sustainable Cities Investment Program will invest $1 billion over 10 years in clean energy and energy efficient technology solutions in cities and the built environment;

  • the Reef Funding Program whicxh will invest $1 billion over 10 years to help address the two biggest threats to the health of the Great Barrier Reef - climate change and poor quality water runoff; and

  • the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, a $200 million program supporting the growth of innovative clean energy technologies and businesses.

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