Kevin Rudd,
Prime Minister of
Australia
 
Canberra, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- May 13, 2009 - Australia’s Rudd government has allocated Au$100 million (US$76.5 million) for a smart grid in its latest budget.

The grant allocation, for the country’s National Energy Efficiency Initiative, is aimed at developing an innovative smart grid energy network, combining broadband with intelligent grid technology and smart meters in homes.

“This leading edge project will be of sufficient scale to demonstrate best practice and inform national rollouts and government policy,” states the budget statement. “This will enable greater energy efficiency, reduced emissions and use of alternative energy sources such as solar power.”

The funding will be provided to a consortium of state and local government, public and private energy companies and other private sector investors.

The announcement has been welcomed by EnergyAustralia managing director George Maltabarow.

“Smart grids are the key to a low carbon economy,” said Maltabarow. “They are essential if we want to de-carbonize electricity networks in Australia.”

The budget also includes allocations of almost $4 billion (US$3 billion) for the Energy Efficient Homes Program and Au$3.5 billion (US$2.6 billion) for a new clean energy initiative, comprising the establishment of a new renewable technology innovation body, Renewables Australia, investment in up to four new commercial scale solar flagship projects, and investment in large scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects.