Record new renewable capacity in 2019

23 January

Australia is a world leader in renewable energy. In 2019, we set new records for renewable capacity installation and total electricity generated from renewables.

The Clean Energy Regulator estimates that a record 6.3 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable capacity was installed in 2019, 24 per cent above the previous record set in 2018. Electricity generated from renewables is also estimated to have increased to a record 44 terawatt hours (TWh), 20 per cent above the previous year.

The Clean Energy Regulator expects that 2020 will be the biggest year yet for electricity generation from renewables (both in absolute terms and year-on-year growth) with a forecast 26 per cent increase.

Based on Bloomberg New Energy Finance data, Australia invested $7.7 billion or $308 per person in renewable energy in 2019. This places us ahead of countries like the United States ($233 per person), Japan ($179 per person) and the United Kingdom ($109 per person) on a per capita basis and is more than triple the per capita investment of countries like Denmark ($95 per person), France ($90 per person) and Germany ($73 per person).

Our per capita installation rate has increased more than five-fold since 2015. Last year, an Australian National University (ANU) study confirmed this is four times the per capita rate of the European Union, United States and Japan and ten times the global average.1

Emissions from the electricity grid are forecast to fall by 23 per cent by 2030 as the share of renewable energy increases to more than a third in the early 2020s and 48 per cent by 2030.

The key challenge to ensuring continued strong growth in new renewable capacity is to drive down the cost of storage and backup, including grid updates.

That’s why the Government has invested $1.4 billion into Snowy 2.0 and MarinusLink, established a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund and recently announced support terms for the first two UNGI projects.

These are important initiatives in the Government’s A Fair Deal on Energy policy and will contribute to meeting our $70 per MWh price target and maintaining and increasing reliable supply of electricity.

View the energy policy blueprint here: https://www.energy.gov.au/energy-policy-blueprint-fair-deal-energy.

Notes:

1  Matthew Stocks, Ken Baldwin, Andrew Blakers, Powering ahead: Australia leading the world in renewable energy build rates, 4 September 2019, available at: https://energy.anu.edu.au/files/Renewable%20energy%20target%20report%20September%202019_1_0.pdf

Source: Federal Government

 

New energy world through innovation

28 January

Innovations in energy networks will allow more participation by customers and enable a sustainable energy future according to a report released by Energy Networks Australia.

Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dillon, said innovation was essential as the generation, delivery and consumption of electricity underwent extensive change.

“We don’t use electricity in the same way anymore, both in terms of how much we use and when we use it,” Mr Dillon said.

“Electric vehicles, household PV solar and battery storage are tipping the system on its head.

“Whereas demand was high in the middle of the day, it’s now low, and where we had steady generation from coal, we now have variable renewables. This makes innovation essential to ensure we can continue to provide reliable power as affordably as possible.

“As our network evolves, innovation is also enabling customers to have a greater say in how their system operates and deliver a future where consumers have much greater control over their energy.”

The Network Innovation 2020 Report highlights some of the significant research, development and deployment occurring in power networks as new techniques and technologies are investigated to manage changes in demand and generation in the most cost-effective manner.

The report includes projects such as the 2019 Industry Innovation Award-winning Dalrymple Battery project by ElectraNet.

“The transition to renewable gas such as biogas and hydrogen is also underway to provide zero-emission energy for household heating and cooking as well as energy storage, utilising existing gas infrastructure,” Mr Dillon said.

Networks are partnering with stakeholders such as universities, energy retailers and governments to ensure expertise is maintained during these projects. Find out more about innovation here.

Source: Energy Networks Australia

 

NEW PROJECT

Hay 2A Solar Farm

Location: Mid-Western Highway, Hay NSW

Capacity: 8 MW DC

Developer: ITP Development

LGA: Hay Shire Council

Status: Development application referred to the Western Regional Planning Panel

Estimated cost: $6.6mil

Description: The Hay 2A Solar Farm will have a DC array capacity of 8 MW and an AC output of 5 MW on one of two new lots. Proposed 14.15 hectare Lot 1 will be occupied by the approved Hay 1A Solar Farm. 6.42 hectare Lot 2 will accommodate the proposed Hay 2A Solar Farm. There are proposed to be ~18,500 solar modules installed in 26 blocks of modules. Two 2.5 MW inverter stations will be installed at the solar farm. Underground cables will connect to the Essential Energy 33kV feeder that runs parallel to the highway and then connects to the Hay 33 substation.

Contact: Mishka Talent

Portfolio Manager

ITP Development

Tel: (02) 6257 3511

Email: info@itpau.com.au

 

An open letter on Australian bushfires and climate: Urgent need for deep cuts in carbon emissions

29 January

The tragedy of this summer’s bushfires commands our attention, and after aiding and supporting the victims it is important to learn from the event. The scale and ferocity of the recent fires are unprecedented since European settlement of this country. They arrived at the end of a year with the lowest average rainfall and the highest average temperatures ever recorded across Australia. Climate change has arrived, and without significant action greater impacts on Australia are inevitable.

While many factors have contributed to the bushfire crisis, the role of exceptional heat and dryness cannot be ignored. Temperatures nearly everywhere on Earth have been rising for decades, a clear result of the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from fossil fuel use and other human activities. The increasing variability of rainfall across Australia, bringing more dry years, is a consequence.

These outcomes were predicted decades ago. We should listen to the voices of not only our scientists, but also those who are on the front lines fighting fires. The message is clear: the situation is becoming ever less manageable as extreme-fire-risk weather becomes more common, while conditions suitable for controlled burns to reduce fuel loads are becoming less frequent. While much remains to be learned about the impacts of climate change, more than enough studies have been conducted to tell us we have a serious problem that requires urgent changes to be made.

We welcome government actions to help current victims and improve adaptation to future fires, as well as its acceptance of a role for climate change in the catastrophe. But this is not enough, because the greenhouse gas amounts driving warming are still rising: the world is only at the beginning of the climate change phenomenon. The current impacts are happening with just 1 Celsius of global temperature increase, but we are set for the best part of another degree even if very strong international action is taken to reduce emissions. This means further increases in extreme fire risk, heat waves and flooding rains; ecosystems degraded and wild species forced to migrate or vanish; agricultural activities moved or abandoned, challenging our food security; and so on. If strong action is not taken, environmental degradation and social disruption will be much greater and in many cases adaptation will no longer be achievable.  It would be naive to assume that such a world will still support human societies in their current form and maintain human well-being.

This dire outlook demands stronger mitigation of carbon emissions. Many argue that actions to achieve this would be economically destructive. This claim has no basis, nor is it consistent with Australia’s traditional optimism and ingenuity, nor with historical experience.  Similar objections were raised in the past against government policies to limit air pollution, environmental toxins and ozone-destroying chemicals, but we collectively found ways to achieve mitigation at manageable cost, and with net benefits to society that are clear in hindsight.

A transition to lower, and eventually net zero emissions, is a huge task but is achievable and far less risky and irresponsible than allowing unmitigated warming. This transition requires determination on the part of leaders, as well as empathy, aid and forward planning for communities disadvantaged by the transition. Large transformations in the face of comparable challenges have been successfully achieved in the past, such as the development of road and mass transportation systems, waste-water and sewage handling to minimise diseases, and many others. These transformations created new jobs and whole industries, and will do so again.

Australia cannot solve climate change on its own. Reducing emissions is a global challenge that requires collective action. But Australia’s current visibility as ground zero for both climate impacts and climate policy uncertainty presents a unique opportunity for us to emerge as a leader on this challenge. Doing so will aid our economy, strengthen our standing in international affairs and relations with neighbours, and help secure Australia and the world from the impacts of climate change.  Much research has already been done to identify the policies and technologies that can move us to where we need to go. What is lacking is the courage to implement them on the required scale. We call on all governments to acknowledge the gravity of the threat posed by climate change driven by human activities, and to support and implement evidence-based policy responses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in time to safeguard against catastrophe. We owe this to younger generations and those who come after them, who will bear the brunt of our decisions.

Signed the ARC Laureate Fellows

 

NEW PROJECT

Bridgewater Solar Farm

Location: 8km east of Bridgewater, near Bendigo in VIC

Capacity: 55 MW AC

Developer: BayWa r.e.

Status: Development application being considered by Loddon Shire Council

Description: The Bridgewater Solar Farm will have a total area of approximately 134 ha. The development will consist of solar arrays, a control compound, substation, a number of internal access tracks, laydown areas and general grid connection infrastructure. Stage 2 of the project will involve installation of batteries.

Contact: Peter McPherson

Business Development Manager

BayWa r.e.

Email: peter.mcpherson@baywa-re.com

 

NEW PROJECT

Dandenong Waste-to-Energy Project

Location: Dandenong South, VIC

Capacity: 7.9 MW

Developer: Great Southern Waste Technologies

Status: October 2019, Victorian EPA received a works approval application

Description: The Dandenong waste-to-energy facility would process 100,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste and commercial and industrial waste per year and provide a greenhouse gas emissions net benefit of 142,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year as compared to landfilling. The proposal facility utilises gasification technology developed by Energos Technology AS.

Contact: Bill Keating

Chief Operating Officer

Great Southern Waste Technologies

Tel: (03) 9376 3422

Email: enquiries@gswt.net.au

 

NEW PROJECT

Derby Solar Farm

Location: Derby, VIC

Capacity: 100 MW

Developer: ACEnergy

Status: Approved by Loddon Shire Council in December 2019

Description: The proposed Derby Solar Farm consists of approximately 270 ha of land proposed to be developed with solar panels and other associated infrastructure for the purpose of producing energy. The subject site is located within close proximity to the Calder Highway and will be accesses via the Derby Serpentine Road. Approximately 3620 solar panel arrays will be installed.

Contact: Rodd Zhang

Principal Engineer

ACEnergy

Tel: (03) 9813 2307

Email: admin@acenergy.com.au

 

NEW PROJECT

Vena Energy Australia to power up Queensland’s biggest battery

29 January

Renewable power producer Vena Energy Australia announced today that it will soon begin construction of Queensland’s largest grid-scale battery near Wandoan in the Western Downs.

Vena Energy’s Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) will have an initial capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) and store 150 megawatt hours of energy, which could power up to 57,000 average homes annually.

At a signing ceremony hosted by the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines & Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, Vena Energy chief executive Mr Nitin Apte said the $120 million BESS project represented a major milestone in the continuing modernisation of Queensland’s energy supply.

“The BESS represents Queensland’s accelerating transition to a cleaner future and has the potential to utilise solar renewable energy from existing generation,” Mr Apte said.

“The BESS will encourage a positive investment environment for future projects as well as encourage broader adoption of renewable energy in Queensland and in Australia.”

Vena Energy Australia will build, own and maintain the BESS while leading Australian energy retailer AGL will have full operational dispatch rights under a 15-year agreement between the two companies.

AGL CEO Brett Redman said the agreement was consistent with AGL’s strategy of developing and/or contracting flexible storage and generation to support the transition from coal generation to renewables.

“The battery will enable AGL to leverage excess solar generation in Queensland and provide capacity when the Coopers Gap Wind Farm and other renewable power sources are not generating,” Mr Redman said.

Head of Vena Energy Australia Mr Anil Nangia said local employment and procurement opportunities would be established throughout the 12-month construction program, with the labour force anticipated to be 30 strong during construction.

“We plan to significantly invest in the local region, with local purchasing likely to include a wide range of products and services from fencing contractors, concreters, welders, electricians, plant and equipment operators, transport contractors and administrators,” Mr Nangia said.

Mr Nangia said the BESS was the first construction milestone of the company’s Wandoan South Project, approved to generate up to 1000MW of solar electricity and 450MW of energy storage, to be developed across several stages.

“Vena Energy is also advancing plans for a $650 million solar project at the site, as part of the Wandoan South Project,” he said.

In Australia, Vena Energy is progressing over 2,500MW of renewable energy projects across the country and last year commissioned a 95MW solar project at Tailem Bend in South Australia.

Source: Vena Energy

 

New giant battery to support AGL’s renewable energy drive in Queensland

29 January

AGL today announced that one of Australia’s largest grid-scale batteries will be built at Wandoan in Queensland under a 15-year agreement between AGL and Vena Energy Australia.

AGL CEO Brett Redman said the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) would have a capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) and store 150 megawatt hours of energy, which could power up to 57,000 average homes.

“With the signing of the agreement, work on the BESS will commence and is scheduled to take about 18 months,” Mr Redman said.

Vena Energy Australia will build, own and maintain the BESS while AGL will have full operational dispatch rights.

“The BESS is a major milestone in the continuing modernisation of Queensland’s energy supply and improves the reliability of the power grid,” said Vena Energy CEO Nitin Apte.

“The project will bolster a positive investment environment for future projects, as well as encourage broader adoption of renewable energy in Queensland and in Australia.”

Mr Redman said the execution of this agreement was consistent with AGL’s strategy of developing and/or contracting flexible storage and generation to support the transition from coal generation to renewables.

“The BESS will enable AGL to leverage excess solar generation in Queensland and provide capacity when the Coopers Gap Wind Farm and other renewable power sources are not generating,” Mr Redman said.

“Early last year we delivered the Dalrymple 30 MW ESCRI battery on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia as part of a joint venture with ElectraNet and in October we announced a deal with Maoneng Group to buy capacity from four 50 MW /100 MWh batteries in NSW.

“We are investigating the feasibility of pumped hydro plants at Kanmantoo in South Australia and Bells Mountain in NSW, which if progressed will provide more than 500 MW of new storage capacity.

“We are also working with the New South Wales Government's Emerging Energy Program on a proposal to build a 50 MW battery at Broken Hill, we have plans for a gas firming power station in Newcastle, and we are exploring other sites.

“More broadly we have $1.9 billion of energy supply projects completed or in construction and another $2 billion in the pipeline, subject to feasibility and stable policy settings, which will all help to put downward pressure on prices for customers.”

Source: AGL Energy

 

NEW PROJECT

Alectown Wind Farm

Location: Alectown

Capacity: 120 MW

Developer: Neoen

LGA: Parkes

Estimated cost: $240mil

Status: Community information session held on 6 February 2020

Description: The Alectown Wind Farm is proposed to be constructed on private land adjacent to the Goobang National Park. Over 150 jobs created during construction phase, scheduled to start in 2022, with 3-5 permanent jobs once operational.

Contact: Joanna Murphy

Project Manager

Neoen

Tel: 1800 166 188

 

PROJECT NEWS

NT Defence Solar Project

The Commonwealth of Australia, represented by the Department of Defence, submitted a retail licence application to the Utilities Commission of the Northern Territory and sought an exemption from the requirement to hold a network licence under the Electricity Reform Act with respect to its limited network of medium voltage (11 kV) cables and Intake Switching Stations (ISSs).

The Department of Defence entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (‘PPA’) with Assure Energy in respect of a project involving the design, construction, operation and finance of on-base solar photovoltaic power stations and associated battery installations at Defence sites at Robertson Barracks (10.874 MW) and RAAF Base Darwin (3.62 MW) under a 20-year offtake agreement.

Defence will receive electricity from the Power Producer which would primarily be used to meet Defence’s load ‘behind the meter’ at Robertson Barracks and RAAF Base Darwin, with residual energy not used by those Bases will be sold exclusively to a licensed electricity retailer via the connection points at each Base.

Source: Department of Defence

 

Hospitals across NSW will become more energy-efficient with the installation of solar panels

29 January

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai, Fairfield, Canterbury and John Hunter hospitals will receive $8.1 million to install solar panels.

John Hunter Hospital will be the biggest hospital solar panel project in Australia. The $3.2 million installation of solar panels will cover 12,000 square metres of roof space.

Nearly $1.5 million will be spent on the installation of solar panels at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital.

Solar panels are being installed at Blacktown Hospital and are due to go live in February 2020. The hospital is expected to save $194,000 every year in electricity costs.

Port Macquarie Hospital was the first in NSW to have solar panels installed under this initiative. Since June 2018, nearly $224,000 has been saved on electricity costs.

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said this initiative shows the benefits of using solar energy to save our hospitals money and reduce our carbon footprint.

“By making our hospitals more energy-efficient, these solar projects will help bring our costs down, freeing up funds that can be invested back into the health system," Mr Hazzard said.

Source: NSW Government

 

Fresh policies that unlock private capital investment could accelerate emissions cuts and boost climate change resilience

29 January

Australia can boost its climate change resilience and accelerate emissions reductions with policies that unlock private capital, the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) said in response to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s address to the National Press Club.

IGCC Chief Executive Officer, Emma Herd, said Australia needed prudent management of climate risks that would reduce the financial, economic and community costs of climate change. This includes physical risks, such as worsening drought and fires, and the economic risk of a disorderly shift to netzero emissions.

“Investors are already making decisions on whether or not to deploy capital in Australia on the basis of their own climate change risk assessments,” Ms Herd said.

“Responding to the growing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like fires and drought will increasingly challenge the contingency funds of all levels of government. Unlocking the billions of dollars in private investment that could be deployed into adaptation measures, such as protecting critical infrastructure and improving building standards, is essential to boosting Australia’s climate resilience.

“The announcement of the Finkel-CSIRO review of possible national adaptation measures is a good step. To accelerate private sector investment into resilience, the implementation of the government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework should also be brought forward. Robust adaptation policies will reduce the economic and community costs of growing climate change damage and work already underway by governments can provide a solid foundation to build upon.

“Additional measures would include an updated national assessment of infrastructure to identify the greatest areas of climate risk. Investors could then be engaged in adaptation programs with a cofunding mechanism similar to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.”

Ms Herd said resilience measures must be complimented by a broad package of public and private initiatives to make greater emissions reductions and prepare the economy for a smooth transition to net-zero emissions by 2050 in line with Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.

“The Morrison Government has an opportunity to create a robust and investable policy framework for accelerated emissions reductions as it develops Australia’s long-term climate strategy under the Paris Agreement.

“Climate change represents a systemic risk to the Australian economy and communities. Investors are ready to work with governments at all levels to unlock billions of dollars in national resilience and greater emissions reductions to safeguard our long-term prosperity.”

Source: Investor Group on Climate Change

 

WIRTGEN INVEST acquires Glenrowan West Solar Farm

30 January

Today German Investment company, WIRTGEN INVEST announce the successful acquisition and imminent start of construction of their first investment in Australia, the Glenrowan West Solar Farm. Independently funded, the project has an installed capacity of 149-megawatt peak (MWp) – positioning the Solar Farm as one of the largest renewable energy projects in Victoria.

WIRTGEN INVEST has signed the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract with EPC Contractor, Signal Energy Australia Pty Ltd. Construction is scheduled to commence in February 2020 at the site located between Benalla and Wangaratta, 11km south-west of the town of Glenrowan. In July 2019, WIRTGEN INVEST had acquired the project rights of the Glenrowan West Solar Project from Overland Sun Farming, the leading developer of large-scale solar projects in the Australian market.

WIRTGEN INVEST has been advised by WIRSOL Energy Pty Ltd, the Australian arm of the WIRCON Group, and by German-based WiNRG in the acquisition and EPC process. WIRSOL Energy and WiNRG will continue to work on the project by providing project management services during construction, commissioning and ultimately operation of the Solar Farm. The Glenrowan West Solar Farm is the sixth project that WIRSOL Energy will deliver to the Australian market, taking its portfolio under management to 546MWp.

WIRTGEN INVEST, WIRSOL Energy and WiNRG have a commitment to assist in meeting the ever-growing worldwide demands for clean, sustainable power across households and businesses, whilst continuing to contribute more specifically towards Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target of 50% by 2030. Once the project reaches commercial operation in Q2 2021, the Victorian market will benefit from an additional 149MWp of renewable capacity and the Solar Farm will provide enough energy to power the equivalent of 41,000 households with green electricity, whilst preventing the emissions of approximately 310,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Jürgen and Stefan Wirtgen, Directors of WIRTGEN INVEST Holding GmbH: “WIRTGEN INVEST is proud of its first investment in Australia via its 100% owned subsidiary Glenrowan Sun Farm Pty. Ltd. We are looking forward to good cooperation with the local community and to making Glenrowan West Sun Farm shine.”

Andy Scullion, Director of WIRSOL Energy: “We are delighted to be leading the delivery of Wirtgen’s first venture into the Australian market and look forward to continuing our presence within the local community. This is a significant milestone for us at WIRSOL Energy, at almost 150MW this will be our largest Solar Farm to date, taking our portfolio under management to over 500MW and another great step forward for the decarbonisation of Australia.”

Robbin Russell, General Manager of Signal Energy: “We are excited about the opportunity to work with such a great team and on such an important project. We look forward to working in and becoming a partner with the local community.”

Source: Wirsol

 

NEW PROJECT

Fortescue invests US$450 million in energy infrastructure through Pilbara generation project

30 January

Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue, ASX: FMG) today announces the US$450 million Pilbara Generation Project, the next stage of its Pilbara Energy Connect program. The Pilbara Generation Project complements the US$250 million Pilbara Transmission Project announced in October 2019 and will provide low cost power to the energy efficient Iron Bridge Magnetite Project.

The Pilbara Transmission Project consists of 275km of high voltage transmission lines connecting Fortescue’s mine sites, while the Pilbara Generation Project will include 150MW of gas fired generation, together with 150MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation. This will be supplemented by large scale battery storage and will be constructed, owned and operated by Fortescue.

Together, the transmission and generation projects, totalling US$700 million, form the Pilbara Energy Connect program of works providing Fortescue with a hybrid solar gas energy solution that will enable low cost power to be delivered to Iron Bridge. This allows Fortescue to leverage its existing energy infrastructure including the Fortescue River Gas Pipeline and generation capacity at the Solomon Power Station and support the incorporation of large scale renewable energy.

The Pilbara Energy Connect project builds on the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project which was announced last year. This landmark agreement with Alinta Energy will see up to 100 per cent of daytime stationary energy requirements of the Chichester Hub iron ore operations powered by renewable energy. Alinta will build, own and operate the 60MW solar PV generation facility at the Chichester Hub and 60-kilometre transmission line linking the Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations with Alinta Energy’s Newman gas-fired power station. On completion this will integrate with the Pilbara Energy Connect program, via the Pilbara Transmission Project.

Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said “Mining is a 24/7 operation and efficient, reliable, competitive energy generation remains an important consideration for the mining sector in Western Australia. The lack of an integrated transmission network in the Pilbara has been a key barrier to entry for large scale renewables and Fortescue’s investment will address this issue.

“Fortescue’s commitment of US$700 million in electricity generation and transmission infrastructure will complete the integration of Fortescue’s stationary energy requirements in the Pilbara into an efficient network, while lowering the overall cost of electricity to existing and future sites.

“By installing 150MW of solar PV as part of the Pilbara Generation Project, the modelling indicates we will avoid up to 285,000 tonnes of CO2e per year in emissions, as compared to generating electricity solely from gas. Importantly, Pilbara Energy Connect allows for large scale renewable generation such as solar or wind to be connected at any point on the integrated network, positioning Fortescue to readily increase our use of renewable energy in the future,” Ms Gaines said.

Source: Fortescue Mining Group

 

Clean energy investment collapses as risks and uncertainty mount

30 January

The level of new investment commitments in large-scale renewable energy projects has collapsed by more than 50 per cent according to new analysis by the Clean Energy Council which reveals a fall from 51 projects worth $10.7 billion in 2018 down to 28 projects worth $4.5 billion in 2019.

While the strong flow of projects that were committed in 2017 and 2018 are now coming online, the pipeline of new projects commencing construction has dropped significantly due to the stalling of commitments in 2019.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said mounting regulatory risks, under investment in transmission and policy uncertainty have contributed to increased risks for investors and resulted in a lowering in confidence and slow-down in investment commitment.

“A continued slow-down in new investment will put greater pressure on reliability and power prices as Australia’s old coal-fired power stations continue to close. New investment is critical to replacing these coal-fired power stations and delivering on Australia’s emission reduction targets,” Mr Thornton said.

This reduced investment confidence was reflected in the Clean Energy Council’s recent Clean Energy Outlook Index which revealed a clear fall in investor confidence in the sector.

The top reasons for a decline in investor confidence was due to grid connection issues, a lack of strong national energy and climate policy and network congestions and constraints.

Many of the rules relating to grid connection, network investment and market design are no longer fit-for-purpose and are a significant deterrent to potential investors.

“These issues need to be resolved urgently if Australia hopes to attract investors and ensure the necessary level of new energy generation capacity.”

“Renewable energy has been the shining light in reducing emissions in Australia,” Mr Thornton said. “If we hope to maintain this, we need strong leadership and collaboration to address the policy gaps and regulatory barriers facing new generation.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

NSW energy deal to reduce power prices and emissions

31 January

The Morrison and Berejiklian governments have reached a landmark agreement to lower power prices for consumers, reduce emissions and strengthen grid reliability.

Through this partnership, both governments have committed to deliver a number of initiatives that will:

- increase gas and electricity supply in NSW by encouraging investment;

- improve grid security by supporting transmission interconnection and network access; and

- support emissions reduction projects that deliver genuine abatement.

The more than $2 billion deal includes:

- NSW-based emissions reductions initiatives utilising $960 million in federal funding, (with a minimum $450 million grants and the remaining $510 million a mix of grants and loans) matched by $1.01 billion in direct funding from NSW.

- Jointly underwriting the delivery of HumeLink and the Queensland-NSW interconnectors to strength grid reliability.

- Commitments from the NSW Government to facilitate investment opportunities to inject an additional 70 petajoules of gas per year into the east coast market.

- An undertaking from the NSW Government to remove barriers to coal supply to the Mount Piper Power Station.

- Supporting new generation projects in NSW through the Federal Government’s $1 billion Underwriting New Generation Investment program.

- Financial support for the establishment of a pilot renewable energy zone in the Central West to help large-scale renewable generators pump as much as energy as possible into the grid.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the NSW energy deal was the first of many he hoped to sign with state and territory governments across Australia. 

“I want households and businesses paying less for their electricity and I want to continue to get emissions down – this deal does both,” the Prime Minister said.

“There is no credible plan to lower emissions and keep electricity price down that does not involve the greater use of gas as an important transition fuel.

“This plan is about getting greater access to that gas, as a vital accompaniment to our record investment in renewables.

“Our agreement also outlines a responsible transition of the NSW electricity sector to lower emissions technologies, while recognising the critical contribution that energy dependent manufacturing jobs make to the economy.

“Energy security is an important issue for all states and territories and we are committed to continuing our investment in supporting the security of the National Electricity Market so all Australians have access to reliable power,” the Prime Minister said.

“NSW already has a pipeline of around $26 billion of large scale renewable and non-renewable energy projects and the NSW Government has introduced a range of rebates to help keep prices down as well as a five-year $1.4 billion Climate Change Fund,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“Our agreement with the Commonwealth today will ensure we continue to strengthen and diversify our energy sector here in New South Wales – securing traditional energy sources whilst growing renewable energy investment across the state.

This is the first of a series of state bilateral energy agreements between the Federal Government and state and territory governments.

Source: Federal Government

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