The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has released its investment plan for 2017-18, and there’s good news in it for the built environment.

One of the key focus areas for the expected $800 million in finance the agency is looking to deliver includes improving the energy efficiency of buildings through developments in both building technology and design.

It will be looking to fund projects that improve energy productivity, renewable integration, the development of ways to “materially increase building performance above current minimum standards” and techniques to deliver “deep energy productivity improvements” in the existing built environment.

Another area of interest in the Innovating Energy plan is demonstrating how energy productivity solutions can be incorporated at scale – such as into urban transformation areas, large parcels of industrial land, suburbs, towns and cities.

Funding will also be available for new ways to control heating, cooling and thermal storage that can balance the variability of renewable energy, and also innovative business models for increasing the uptake of renewable energy in buildings.

Other key priority areas for investment are secure, reliable electricity including solutions such as demand management, batteries, concentrated solar thermal, bioenergy and pumped hydro; accelerating research and development of the next generation of solar technology with the aim to facilitate the emergence of an Australian-based supply chain; integrating renewable energy into transport; and developing an export market for Australian renewable energy.