Australia's clean energy credentials promoted in the US

Thursday, 26 February, 2009

Austrade is showcasing Australia’s clean energy capabilities and ingenuity by leading a business mission to the United States and Chile, to capitalise on new commercial opportunities for alternative clean energy solutions.

The joint mission between Austrade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is attending two of North America’s premier clean technology events — the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco 23–24 February and the Renewable Energy Technology (RETECH) conference in Las Vegas from 25–27 February.

Grame Barty, Austrade’s Regional Director for the Americas and guest speaker at RETECH, said Australia’s renewable energy industry is highly diverse and is positioning itself as a supplier of world-class energy solutions.

“Driven by targeted R&D and progressive government policies to address climate change, Australia’s renewable energy industry is highly diverse. It includes electricity power generation from wind, biomass, geothermal and hydro power, as well as technologies and expertise in solar photovoltaics and concentrated solar thermal power, remote area power systems and energy storage,” Barty said.

“As a result, our industry is developing outstanding capabilities and expertise in project origination, management, engineering and construction in renewable energy generation globally."

Participating businesses in the mission include: Globe Drill Pty (WA); Leighton Contractors (VIC); RCR Energy (WA); Sunengy (NSW);Terra Therm (WA); Vecor Australia (NSW); Wizard Power (ACT); Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (NSW) and the Victorian government.

Barty said this is one of many initiatives being implemented to expand Australia’s renewable energy sector and help capitalise on the growing opportunities in North America following the US administration’s legislated commitment through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to invest US$150 billion in clean energy over the next 10 years.

“Since the Australian government signed the United Nations Kyoto Protocol in November 2007, it has commenced introducing a comprehensive suite of climate change policies and programs to support the growth of the clean energy sector," Barty said.

“This includes draft legislation released in December last year for a Renewable Energy Target requiring 20% of Australia’s electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal by 2020. The increased annual target will commence in 2010."

Barty added the mission is also heading to Santiago, Chile, on 28 February to 3 March providing participants with the opportunity to meet with key industry executives and attend networking events, to capitalise on the growing opportunities in the Chilean market as it looks for solutions to solve its energy shortages.

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