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Australian Renewable Energy

Canberra Dishes Out A$230 Million in Clean Energy Grants

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted November 6, 2009

The government of Australia is targeting four homegrown renewable energy companies with over US$214 million in assistance.

Petratherm, Geodynamics, Victorian Wave Partners, and Hydro Tasmania will all be able to use funding from the capital in Canberra to advance the country's renewable energy capacity. Australia has a national goal of generating 20% of its electricity from clean sources by 2020.

As it stands, clean means renewable. Even Australia—the largest coal exporter in the world—has not advanced clean coal technology to the point where it is a medium-term rival with wind, solar, and water-driven generation.

Petratherm (ASX:PTR) and Geodynamics Ltd. (ASX:GDY) are both Sydney-traded developers of hot rock geothermal energy, which Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and many companies hope to turn into the country's premier non-exportable clean energy resource.

Geothermal energy can't be loaded onto a tanker or put in a pipeline, so steam turbines will sent power straight to local cities and consumers. Fine-tuning of the new clean energy generation buildout process will come at sites like the 25 MW geothermal power plant Geodynamics is building in the state of South Australia.

The other two companies to receive pieces of the A$235 million pie Canberra dished out on November 6 were Hydro Tasmania and Victorian Wave Partners. The success of those two points to the Australian government's commitment to wave energy and hydropower as part of the continent-country's energy mix and advance toward the "20x20" target.

Geodynamics (ASX:GDY) shares rose by nearly 10% on the day's news, and Petratherm (ASX:PTR) doubled that, with a more than 20% gain on Friday.

-Sam Hopkins


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