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Scott Morrison and his Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction continue to appoint mining executives to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The next to be appointed is Stephen McIntosh from Rio Tinto. Fellow board member John Hirjee is also a former Rio Tinto executive.

As Rio Tinto is one of Australia’s largest coal producers, opponents to the appointments find it hard to understand how these executives can add value to the ARENA board.

However, Minister Angus Taylor said “that the addition of McIntosh would bring to the ARENA board experience in the production of the materials used in clean energy technologies like electric vehicles and battery storage”.

Taylor went on to say “Mr McIntosh is a former Rio Tinto Group Executive with experience in green metals, wind, solar and batteries. He has also worked across hydrogen and carbon capture technologies during his time with the company.”

Darren Miller, the CEO of ARENA, has had his contract extended for another three-year term and will work with other senior staff and board members to provide funding into the development of new clean energy technologies.

Questions have been raised about if ARENA is distributing its funding fairly with Rio Tinto awarded funding for a feasibility study into the use of Hydrogen at its Yarwun alumina refinery and the funding of the Kidston pumped Hydro project where renewable projects in the region were rejected.