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Clean energy grants back on track

16th Nov 2012

The federal government has unveiled a new round of funding under its Clean Technology Investment Program - an initiative that was controversially halted in September.

Providing funding for businesses hoping to make their operations more energy efficient, the scheme was put on hold three months ago as part of a government review of its financing streams.

It was an announcement that was slammed by several industry experts, including Nigel Morris of Solar Business Services, who described it as "knee-jerk spontaneous reaction" that would be damaging for many companies.

But all may be forgiven, as the government has now said it will be providing $30 million in cash for 89 manufacturers to install clean energy technology upgrades, including solar power systems.

For example, Western Australia's Borrello Cheese in Oakford will receive $43,000 for solar energy developments.

Greg Combet, minister for industry and innovation, said total investment will reach $89 million as enterprises will be putting their own money towards the development of projects in addition to the grants.

"Over [the] coming years, the Clean Technology Investment Programs are expected to support around 3,000 projects and help many manufacturers across Australia use energy more efficiently," he explained.

"These programs are part of the Gillard government's Clean Energy Future package and are funded by carbon price revenue."

So where has the funding come from? The Clean Technology Investment Programs are made up of a variety of funding schemes designed for different purposes.

Under this particular round of cash injections, 39 grants have come from a general central Clean Technology Investment Program fund, whereas the remaining 50 are being supplied by the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program.

"The grants will help manufacturers transform the way they do business," Mr Combet stated, adding that it will enable them to boost their energy efficiency and make their operations more sustainable.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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