The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is an independent agency of the Australian federal government, established in 2012 to manage Australia’s renewable energy programs, with the objective of increasing supply and competitiveness of Australian renewable energy sources.
ARENA was established in 2012 as an independent statutory authority to manage the government’s renewable energy programs. Legal establishment came with the passing of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011 (ARENA Act). The legislation passed parliament in November 2011 with the support of the Australian Greens and the Liberal and National coalition opposition as well as the governing Labor Party. ARENA commenced operations on 1 July 2012. The agency resulted from negotiations within the Australian parliament under the Gillard Government, with the intention of providing more secure funding for renewable energy programs in the context of political changes.
While ARENA was created as part of the Clean Energy Future package together with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, these are separate institutions. ARENA has consolidated various earlier renewable programs and research and development projects from the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, the Australian Solar Institute and the former Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.