The Australian Government announced it will provide $652.5 million of support over four years for Australia's transition to a low pollution economy by establishing a Renewable Energy Future Fund (REFF).
The REFF will form part of the expanded $5.1 billion Clean Energy Initiative (CEI) and will be used to facilitate the development of large and small scale renewable energy projects - including wind, geothermal, solar and wave energy projects - while also supporting the take-up of industrial, commercial and residential energy efficiency through private and public sector partnerships.
DLA Phillips Fox energy & resources partner Robert Edel told Lawyers Weekly that while little was known about the details of the REFF, it is certainly a "shot in the arm" for the burgeoning renewable energy sector, which still has a lot of developing to do.
"Renewable energy has a long way to go before it replaces traditional sources of energy ... and before it comes of real relevance of major projects which need power stations to supply the energy they need," he said.
"But for that particular resources sector, it is really positive."
Edel also said the injection of $5.6 billion into infrastructure in the energy and resources sector is a huge bonus, particularly in relation to an extra $1 billion allowed to renew existing rail networks.
"Rail is particularly important, especially for iron ore and coal, which are our two biggest exports," he said.