Australia, Funding, Government, Projects, Renewables

CEC reports highlight need for government measures

financial commitments

A new Clean Energy Council (CEC) report shows sluggish financial commitments in new large-scale renewable energy projects over the course of 2023 continued into the third quarter of the year.

The Clean Energy Council, the peak body for the renewable energy industry, released its Q3 Renewable Projects Quarterly Report, confirming that 2023 has been a challenging year for grid-scale renewable energy projects, reaching a total of 509MW from financially committed projects thus far.

Quarter three this year revealed that investment in new large-scale renewable energy generation projects remained slow, with just two new generation projects totalling 161MW of capacity achieving financial commitment – the fourth-lowest result since CEC began tracking project data in 2017.

The report also provided detailed insights into investment activity within Australia’s clean energy and storage investment pipeline.

This showed that large-scale storage projects saw a decrease in financial commitments during Q3 when compared to the previous quarter, with just 13MW added in this quarter.

In addition, three generation projects commenced construction during the quarter, comprising 86MW of additional capacity, while one project reached the commissioning stage, contributing a total of 75 MW.

The third revelation was renewable energy generation and storage projects attracted a total of $150 million during Q3 2023.

CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said these numbers are a clarion call for strong and decisive action, with the CEC welcoming the Federal Government’s commitment to bringing forward the necessary generation in order to deliver the low-cost, clean electricity needed to replace ageing coal-fired generation.

“Between now and 2030, Australia needs a substantial increase in financial commitments for large-scale renewable projects, in the order of 6.9GW per year to achieve the Federal Government’s target of 82 per cent by 2030,” he said.
“Investment in renewable energy has been in gradual decline since the Renewable Energy Target – a policy that delivered substantial new investment – was met in 2020. The rate of investment slowed more dramatically over the past year as a result of higher project costs, complex permitting processes, a congested grid and intensifying global competition in the race to net zero.”

The CEC recently released its Power Playbook, a strategic package of 45 recommendations to the Federal Government designed to ensure Australia gets back on track in meeting its targets and to provides a structure for a future Renewable Energy Superpower Masterplan.

These include measures to drive investment in higher large-scale renewable generation, and allocate more resources between federal, state and territory governments to expedite project assessment processes, and the delivery of 10,000 km of new transmission lines.

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