The Australian Government has awarded a $1.9 million grant to National ICT Australia (NICTA) Ltd's  $5 million project to provide enhanced data for targeted geothermal exploration as part of the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) Emerging Renewables Program.


Announcing the grant at the Australian Geothermal Energy Association's (AGEA) Geothermal Financing Workshop in Sydney, the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, highlighted the importance of this initiative in improving  understanding of the pre-competitive geothermal resource in Australia.


“Geoscience Australia estimates that one per cent of Australia's geothermal energy could supply the nation's annual requirement for 26,000 years.


“Before we unlock this immense resource we need to understand the properties that make the best geothermal resource so we can target the best sites for exploration.


“National ICT Australia Ltd's initiative will help to define the best potential sites, reducing the costs and risks associated with exploration and helping the geothermal industry to take the next step forward.


“The importance of this initiative is underscored by the support it has received from several universities, key Australian industry players and the South Australian Government,” Minister Ferguson said.


National ICT Australia Ltd's data fusion initiative will take existing geothermal data from a wide variety of sources and apply modern statistical machine learning and data fusion methods. The result will be software that improves the process of exploration, discovery and characterisation of geothermal targets for the benefit of industry.


This is the first project to be funded under the Australian Government’s $126 million Emerging Renewables Program, which has been established to provide support for the development of renewable energy and enabling technologies across the innovation chain.


Further information on the Emerging Renewables Program is available at


From 1 July 2012, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will assume responsibility for administering the Emerging Renewables Program. ARENA forms part of the Government’s $3.2 billion commitment to develop a range of renewable energy technologies as we transition towards a low carbon economy.