Another wave of large-scale renewable energy projects is resulting in record levels of investment in renewable energy in Australia, according to the Clean Energy Council (CEC).
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said 41 renewable energy projects have now been committed in 2017, creating an unprecedented wave of investment worth over $8 billion and creating approximately 4680 new direct jobs and massive economic benefits for local businesses across the country.
“These 41 projects will deliver over 4330MW of new capacity, which is crucial to increasing supply in the energy market, replacing old coal-fired generation that continues to close and ensuring downward pressure on power prices” Mr Thornton said. “Private investors have committed to 26 projects currently under construction, with another 14 securing finance and expected to commence construction in 2017. It is incredible to see the shift in conversation and action around and in the industry. In addition, there is strong uptake of rooftop solar systems from Australian homes and businesses, expected to deliver over 1000 MW of capacity worth over $2 billion during 2017. This combined investment will deliver an unprecedented level of private sector investment in power generation in this country’s history”.
Mr Thornton added that initiatives by many state and territory governments in support of these projects, combined with the strong role of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation now puts the 2020 Renewable Energy Target well within reach. In addition to the 4330 MW of committed projects, there are additional projects that have secured Power Purchase Agreements or are likely to be delivered through the Victorian and Queensland renewable energy programs.
Australian renewables have already seen six times the investment value in 2017 of that in 2016, and the new capacity will also help with energy security. In 2016, the combined capacity from all projects completed stood at 264.1 MW. This year 2210.2 MW of projects have been committed and 1881.2 MW are in construction with a whole financial quarter still to go.
States like Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) are leading the charge, with $5403.5 million being invested in these parts of Australia alone. However, this level of industry momentum risks slowing down without a long-term energy policy, such as a Clean Energy Target that will incentivise new investment far beyond 2020.
A detailed breakdown of the projects now committed can be found on the Clean Energy Council website.