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ISSUE=$17.6 MILLION FUNDING TO REDUCE BARRIERS TO RENEWABLE ENERGY May 2, 2007

Media Release
The Hon Ian Macfarlane, MP
2 May 2007

$17.6 MILLION FUNDING TO REDUCE BARRIERS TO RENEWABLE ENERGY

Five projects have received Australian Government funding to trial and demonstrate more efficient ways of storing electricity from renewable energy sources.

The $17.6 million in funding, provided under the Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies programme, was announced today by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull, and the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Ian Macfarlane.

Mr Turnbull said that more renewable energy could be used if the electricity generated from renewable sources was available continuously, day and night, and that better ways of storing the electricity when it is generated would help expand opportunities for its effective use.

“Demonstrating new renewable energy storage technologies in grid-connected and remote area power supply applications will give Australia a strong base on which to grow its own industry and expand opportunities overseas,” Mr Turnbull said.

Electricity storage is an issue faced by all renewable energy generators worldwide. Australian experience in, and demonstration of, these technologies will have widespread benefits in both developing and developed countries.

Mr Macfarlane said the projects would help develop new ways of meeting Australia’s growing demand for electricity, while also helping to reduce the effects of the environmental challenges we face today such as climate change and air quality.

“The renewable energy industry understands the strategic importance of improving electricity storage technologies. They are prepared to take action and the programme will see a total of more than $36 million invested,” Mr Macfarlane said.

The AEST is part of the Australian Government’s more than $2 billion strategy to address climate change.

The five projects awarded funding under the AEST are:

Wizard Power (SA) $7.4 million to demonstrate a solar energy storage system based on ammonia dissociation into hydrogen and nitrogen.
Four 400m2 solar dishes will be installed near Whyalla to concentrate sunlight and provide the heat required to split ammonia into nitrogen and hydrogen for storage. When power is required, the gases are recombined which gives off heat to boil water and generate electricity through a steam turbine.

Lloyd Energy Systems (NSW) $5.0 million to demonstrate a solar energy storage system using graphite blocks. A high concentration tower solar array will be installed at their factory site in Cooma and, once proven, a 16-tower solar array system will be built at Lake Cargelligo in western NSW providing valuable network support for this regional area.

ZBB Technologies (NSW) $3.1 million to demonstrate an integrated 500 kilowatt hours zinc-bromine battery at CSIRO’s National Solar Energy Centre at Newcastle.

Pinnacle VRB (WA) $1.8 million for demonstration of vanadium-redox batteries with photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbines at the remote fishing community of Windy Harbour in WA.

V-Fuel (NSW) $0.26 million for demonstrating innovative vanadium-flow batteries with photovoltaic solar panels and a wind turbine on Cockatoo Island and the Environmental Research Institute for Art at Homebush in Sydney.

The Australian Government’s Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies programme identifies and promotes strategically important, innovative, advanced energy storage technologies that will increase the ability of renewable generation to contribute to Australia’s electricity supply system.

For further information visit: http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/renewable/aest/

Media Contact: Mr Macfarlane’s office: 02 6277 7580; Claire Wilkinson 0419 840 452

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