Financial growth shown by trees growing on coin stacks

At the conclusion of its first ten years of investment, Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has announced it has supported $37.15 billion in investment in Australia’s low emissions economy, which came from cooperation with institutional investors, business, industry and cleantech innovators.

Expected lifetime emissions from CEFC investment commitments were more than 200 million tonnes of CO2-e at 30 June 2022, buoyed by landmark investments in the hard-to-abate manufacturing sector, which together are expected to eliminate some 900,000 tonnes of CO2-e annually.  

The results come after another year of sustained investment activity, with commitments of $1.45 billion to 30 June 2022 touching all areas of the clean energy economy, from vital grid infrastructure to substantial work in the manufacturing sector and in backing Australia’s emerging hydrogen and cleantech sectors. 

CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth, said the CEFC investments reflect the nation’s ambition for a low emissions future where benefits of the clean energy transition are felt across the economy. 

“Recent disruptions to our energy supply underscore the critical need to strengthen our electricity transmission network so it is fit-for-purpose in bringing large-scale renewable energy and energy storage to consumers,” Mr Learmonth said.  

At 30 June 2022, the CEFC had access to $4.57 billion in ongoing investment capital, in addition to returns from existing investments, having drawn a net $5.43 billion from its original $10 billion funding allocation.  

Mr Learmonth said the CEFC recognises that these investments are just the beginning of what is needed.  

“The scale of the remaining investment task is substantial, as reflected in AEMO forecasts of a nine-fold increase in grid-scale wind and solar capacity, a three-fold lift in firming capacity and a near five-fold growth of distributed solar,” Mr Learmonth said. 

In the twelve months to 30 June 2022, the CEFC made new and follow-on investment commitments of $1.45 billion. In attracting an additional $2.30 for each dollar of CEFC finance committed, total transaction value for the year reached some $4.79 billion. Highlights include: 

  • Investment of $455 million in essential grid and transmission infrastructure projects, including the Queensland Powerlink project and the EnergyConnect development in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia 
  • Continued growth in CEFC support for large-scale renewables and energy storage, with an additional $51 million in commitments across three transactions, including innovative bifacial solar panels and half-cut cells, as well as an early-stage development in NSW  
  • A combined $110 million in landmark investments in two major Australian manufacturers, Manildra and Orica, delivering significant operational and emissions benefits and demonstrating opportunities to address so-called ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors 
  • Continued leadership of Australia’s green bond market, with $164.8m committed across four transactions, giving an increasingly diverse range of issuers access to the growing pool of institutional capital committed to net zero emissions 
  • Innovative investments of $17.5 million to cut emissions in the resources sector, including a hydrogen hub and ultra-heavy duty hydrogen trucks and finance for the production of modular and scalable electric battery systems to replace diesel use in mining  
  • A record $45.4 million in new and follow-on investments through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, including backing for MicroTau, which has developed a shark skin-inspired film coating to reduce transport emissions and Samsara Eco, which is using modified enzymes to deliver infinite plastics recycling  

Mr Learmonth said the CEFC would continue to build on its strong track record in contributing to the achievement of Australia’s net zero emissions ambitions. 

“As we look to the decade ahead, we are committed to investments that capture the many benefits the low emissions economy can deliver, from new business opportunities to substantial efficiency gains, as well as the very critical climate benefits,” Mr Learmonth said.  

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