In FY18, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) set a new record in investment commitments, 53% of which went into renewable energy.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2018, the the Australian government’s green bank invested in 10 large-scale solar projects and four wind farms, to deliver an additional 1,100MW in clean energy across Australia.
This included $94 million for the Kennedy Energy Park, Australia’s first fully integrated hybrid project that will combine 43.2 MW in wind capacity, 15 MW of solar PV, and 2 MWh of battery storage, as well as projects delivering low-cost energy to large industrial and commercial energy users through innovative power purchase agreements, such as the one for Victoria’s 100 MW Numurkah Solar Farm.
Overall, the CEFC made commitments of $2.3 billion, with 39 direct investments across the clean energy sector, in renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and waste-related projects.
In addition to $1.1 billion invested in renewables, the CEFC committed $939 million in energy efficiency, $100 million in transport and $127 million in waste-related projects.
Since its inception five years ago, the CEFC has financially underpinned 2,400 MW of renewable energy projects, including more than 20 large-scale solar farms and 10 wind farms Australia-wide.
In December, the CEFC announced that it had tipped over the 1 GW mark of large-scale solar projects.
Since inception, the CEFC has given a financial shot in the arm to four large-scale renewable energy projects that include a storage component, reflecting the critical role of storage technologies in extending the benefits of low cost solar and wind power across the electricity market.
The CEFC says that a further 24 smaller-scale storage projects have been financed through its co-finance partnerships.
“There is considerably more work to do, right across the economy, beyond renewable energy,“ said CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth, adding that the opportunities are substantial, as is clearly demonstrated by the strong pipeline of projects seeking CEFC investment.
“Our goal is to increase the impact of our capital, supporting innovative approaches to cutting greenhouse gas emissions with private investors,“ he said, adding that each dollar of CEFC investment commitments has been matched by more than $1.80 of private sector finance.
However, judging by the budgets statements released in May, next year may see a slowdown in clean energy investment, given that the CEFC signaled to the government it would draw from the Department of Environment and Energy’s account only $530 million in 2018/19, down from $2 billion in 2017/18.