Green commercial properties move a step closer

By Greg Bell

The potential of finding environmentally-friendly commercial property on the Gold Coast could be about to improve, as new technologies are being developed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). It has made funding available for a project, which will help create the first biorefinery in the country – a site that uses plant material to produce renewable diesel and jet fuels.

CEO of ARENA Ivor Frischknecht explained that it's the first time any real emphasis has been placed on Australia's biofuels industry, and there are already high hopes that the results will be impressive. The fact that Queensland is at the forefront of this revolution can only be good news for those looking at commercial leasing in the state.

There are two major projects underway at the moment, both of which could revolutionise the way in which businesses generate and use energy. If successful, they could pave the way for further developments in green energy and perhaps even encourage other parts of the country to do the same.

Opportunities for going green

Although this biofuels initiative already has many experts excited, it's far from the only project that ARENA has in its sights. The group recently revealed it was supporting a program to construct large-scale solar photovoltaic plants across the country – something that could further benefit Gold Coast businesses.

Mr Frischknecht said the aim is to make solar power more competitive and open it up to a wider range of businesses. Some companies have already recognised the benefits, but there are hopes that the commercial appeal of solar and other green technologies will achieve further reach.

He noted that the amount of funding needed for large-scale solar is starting to fall. The Moree Solar Farm and AGL's Nyngan and Broken Hill plants initially needed around $1.60 in funding from ARENA for every watt of electricity produced, which fell to 43 cents during the expression of interest phase.

"The need fell again by more than a third to an average of 28 cents per watt in the full applications," Mr Frischknecht continued.

"This clearly demonstrates how quickly large-scale solar PV costs are falling supported by ARENA funding, which has resulted in rising confidence, lower finance costs and a more supportive market for power purchase agreements."

It's also not just inner-city locations that will benefit from this move towards sustainable technologies. ARENA has also predicted that regional areas can reap the rewards, bringing new jobs and opportunities for further investment in the sector.

The group has worked closely alongside various other agencies, including the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to make sure there's sufficient funding available for any future projects. Many state governments have also been involved to see how they can make the most of this shift towards a greener energy future.

Why green commercial property has become popular

As with everyday consumers, businesses throughout Australia are becoming ever more aware of their impact on the environment, and how much utilities are costing them. This is where eco-friendly technologies have really started to come into their own, as they give companies the chance to achieve both these factors.

With costs rising and new policies being put in place to encourage reduced energy usage, it's hardly surprising that sustainability is a factor people take into consideration when they look at office leasing on the Gold Coast.

Here at Ray White, we understand what makes an environmentally-friendly commercial premises, and we're only too happy to help you find your ideal location. Get in touch to discuss you options with our agents and make your Gold Coast business a success.

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