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01 Performance

Reef Funding Program

The Reef Funding Program is a $1 billion investment program financing clean energy projects in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment Area, supporting delivery of the Reef 2050 plan and the long-term health of the Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Funding Program Commitment

CEFC finance is directed to eligible projects in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment Area across renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies.

CEFC finance through the Reef Funding Program focuses on five priority areas of economic activity: agribusiness, property, infrastructure, grid and storage solutions and bioproducts.

These priorities reflect broad and ongoing consultation with businesses, government agencies and financiers in the Reef Catchment Area. Within these sectors we particularly encourage projects with the potential to improve water quality outcomes, which have the greatest potential to directly impact Reef health.

Water quality impacts include clean energy projects that reduce the runoff of pollutants, fertiliser and sediment, such as the installation of more energy and water efficient irrigation systems, pesticide sprayers, fertiliser application systems and best practice wastewater management.

As the CEFC’s primary role and statutory objective is to facilitate increased financial flows to the clean energy sector, CEFC investment within the Reef Catchment Area primarily delivers indirect benefit to the Reef in lowering emissions to address climate change, the single greatest threat to the Reef.

These also support the Reef 2050 plan objectives in contributing to local economic growth by providing a local source of clean renewable energy supply and efficient local use of energy, and in demonstrating the positive benefits of clean energy to Reef communities.

CEFC finance through the Reef Funding Program focuses on five priority areas of economic activity:

  1. Agribusiness
  2. Property
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Grid and storage solutions
  5. Bioproducts
Projects financed 5 2
CEFC direct finance $320.3m $183.1m
Projects via channel partner 341 107
Investment via channel partner $41.8m $29.6m
Leverage* $2.60 $2.10
Lifetime MtCO2-e abatement estimated* 23.3 11.8
* re CEFC direct finance only

Figure 4: Reef Funding Program commitments

Our investments

To 30 June 2018, the CEFC had committed more than $350 million in finance to 346 individual projects through the Reef Funding Program, for new investments with a total project value exceeding $1.2 billion.

This has included more than $320 million to seven large-scale solar farm investments in the Reef Catchment Area, including Ross River, Whitsunday, Hamilton, Collinsville, Hayman, Daydream and Clermont. Together, these large-scale solar projects will deliver total investment of more than $1.1 billion in the Reef Catchment Area, with more than 550MW of renewable energy capacity available to local communities, addressing end-of-grid issues and signaling a rapid and substantial transition to lower-cost clean energy supply.

CEFC finance has also supported the delivery of almost 350 smaller-scale asset finance projects, including on-farm energy efficiency and irrigation equipment to improve water quality and reduce water consumption and run-off.

Industry consultation

Throughout 2017-18, we have continued to work directly with agribusinesses and farming bodies to help raise awareness about how producers can invest in clean energy technologies to improve Reef health. This includes working with farm agronomists in sugar cane, banana growing and cattle grazing to identify equipment that can improve water quality outcomes while meeting the CEFC’s eligibility criteria.

This focus on water quality improvements has seen the CEFC finance 10 water quality projects to date, with a total value of more than $2 million. This on-farm irrigation equipment contributes towards the Reef 2050 plan by reducing water use, improving water infiltration and quality and reducing sediment run-off.