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Budget boosts CEFC's role in the net zero economy

The CEFC now has a role in the Australian Government’s Rewiring the Nation (RTN) infrastructure program thanks to a federal Budget capital allocation of $8.6 billion to CEFC for RTN-related investments, as part of the broader $20 billion RTN policy initiative.

Subject to parliamentary approval, the CEFC expects to draw on this new capital to invest in priority grid-related projects to fast-track the decarbonisation of the electricity sector and secure a strong and stable clean energy supply.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “The CEFC has already played a significant part in Australia’s clean energy transition and this experience will be crucial to a successful push to net zero emissions.

“Transforming our electricity grid is one of the most important investments we can make as we transition to net zero emissions, providing a critical pathway to bringing low-cost renewable energy to consumers.

“As Australia steps up its ambitions to decarbonise, the CEFC will help deliver a 21st-century electricity grid, powered by clean energy and supported by the nation-building infrastructure that will enable it to thrive in the low-emissions future economy. 

“The CEFC will also continue our important task of investing across the economy to cut emissions. In our first decade we made investment commitments of $10.76 billion, across some 265 large-scale transactions. After allowing for repayments and returns on our investment commitments we have access to $4.57 billion in investment capital from our initial $10 billion allocation, in addition to the ongoing returns from our investment commitments.”

The CEFC will lead the financial and investment aspects of RTN-related investments, working closely with the new Rewiring the Nation Office, AEMO and the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner, which will lead on non-financial-related aspects.  

Eligible RTN projects include large-scale transmission infrastructure, such as Tasmania’s Marinus Link and the Victoria-New South Wales Interconnector West (VNI-West), as well as energy storage, renewable energy zones and large-scale hydro storage assets. The CEFC has been closely involved in shaping the proposed investment structures in the Tasmanian and Victorian interconnector projects.

Image credit: iStock.com/Petmal

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