Min­is­ter calls for Carnegie R&D aid

Albany Extra - - News - Toby Hussey

Canberra has been blamed for the enor­mous writ­ing-down of wave en­ergy tech­nol­ogy be­ing tri­alled off the Al­bany coast.

On Tues­day, Min­is­ter for Re­gional Devel­op­ment Alan­nah MacTier­nan crit­i­cised new Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment tax rules for re­search and de­sign projects, which she blamed for Carnegie Clean En­ergy writ­ing down its tech­nol­ogy by $35 mil­lion this month.

Carnegie is tri­alling wave en­ergy tech­nol­ogy at sites off the West Aus­tralian coast, in­clud­ing off Al­bany, which uses wave move­ment to trans­mit elec­tric­ity to shore.

How­ever, ear­lier this month, the busi­ness an­nounced it had writ­ten down the value of its CETO tech­nol­ogy by $35 mil­lion, con­tribut­ing to a $64 mil­lion an­nual loss for the busi­ness.

The State Gov­ern­ment has been a big sup­porter of Carnegie’s ef­forts to de­velop wave en­ergy tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing a $15.75 mil­lion grant to kick­start the pro­ject.

Ms MacTier­nan said a new cap on R&D tax cred­its had hurt small tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ers, and called for the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to ex­empt Carnegie from the cap.

“We’ve been ask­ing them if they’ll make ex­cep­tions in WA for re­new­able en­ergy projects, which doesn’t re­ally speak to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment,” she said.

“We al­ways knew this is an R&D pro­ject and there will be chal­lenges for these projects, par­tic­u­larly if all of a sud­den in mid-op­er­a­tion the tax rules are changed.

“We urge the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to look at these R&D rules to make sure we have this pipeline of in­no­va­tion in Aus­tralia that is very much un­der­pinned by the R&D tax con­ces­sions.”

Carnegie says the wave en­ergy buoys, which are be­ing de­vel­oped in Al­bany, could have global im­pact.

Speak­ing to The West Aus­tralian ear­lier this month, Carnegie man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Michael Ot­ta­viano said for the fis­cal year 2018, the val­u­a­tion method­ol­ogy the firm had used had changed.

“The suc­cess­ful com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of the CETO wave en­ergy re­tains its ma­te­rial po­ten­tial up­side, par­tic­u­larly un­der a sce­nario where the ma­jor­ity of the world’s power in the fu­ture is to be sourced from re­new­able en­ergy,” he said.

He said Carnegie would use its own­er­ship of a Gar­den Is­land Mi­cro­grid, its stake in a Northam so­lar farm as well as cash to com­mer­cialise CETO units.

A re­cently an­nounced merger with Tag Pa­cific would mean they could still ac­cess a tax in­cen­tive re­fund pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to Mr Ot­ta­viano.

Carnegie Al­bany Wave En­ergy Pro­ject un­der way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.