The Australian government has announced a new A$652 million fund for renewable energy development in an effort to capitalise on the country’s renewable resources.

The funds, committed over four years to establish a Renewable Energy Future Fund, will support the deployment of large and small-scale projects as well as the take-up of energy efficiency across the consumer spectrum.

The government has also announced decisions to invest a further A$110 million from existing renewable energy programmes in a range of solar projects.

The financial commitments will support the country’s response to climate change, says the government, and have been announced just weeks after the Rudd government deferred its proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) legislation after it was defeated in the Senate.

The Renewable Energy Future Fund will include partnerships between the government and the private sector to make critical early stage investments to support the commercialization of renewable technologies. It will bring the government’s total investments in clean energy and energy efficiency to over A$10 billion.

Details of the specific commitments of the fund will be released shortly, says that government.

In addition, CS Energy has been awarded A$32 million to build a 23 MW solar boost to the coal-fired Kogan Creek power plant and N. P. Power has been awarded $60 million to build a 40 MW CSP demonstration plant in South Australia using ‘big dish’ technology.

The Australian Solar Institute has also been awarded A$20 million for various projects researching advanced solar energy technologies.