The French oil group, which is the parent company of U.S. solar manufacturer SunPower, is set to acquire a 74.33% stake in France’s third largest electric utility Direct Energie. Prominent Australian renewable developer and IPP Neoen was established by Direct Energie in 2008, although it will not be affected by the transaction and will continue to remain “totally independent”.
Analysis from Rystad Energy has revealed that sub-$60/MWh utility scale solar projects could be viable in sunny parts of Australia today. The highly competitive EPC landscape has been identified as the major driver of the improving PV power plant economics although, as always, cost of capital remains key.
Latest Global Solar Demand Monitor from GTM Research forecasts 6% annual increase in PV installation growth although current largest markets will register 7% contraction while geographic diversification poised to grow.
In anticipation of a more detailed presentation of the scheme, Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg used the opportunity of the speech to the National Press Club to present the National Energy Guarantee as the best possible option to ensure reliability of supply, describing it as “technology neutral”. Amid mounting criticism leveled by retailers, analysts and leading developers of battery storage, few signs of a national consensus on the proposed NEG are emerging.
The Spanish tracker manufacturer has announced its first deal in Australia just months after opening a subsidiary in Sydney.
Western Australia energy provider Synergy has named RCR Tomlinson as EPC contractor for the expansion of the Greenough River solar farm from 10MW to 40MW.
Construction and building industry superannuation fund Cbus Super has stepped forward, alongside the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF) as the majority investors in Synergy’s solar and wind portfolio. The newly formed Bright Energy Investments vehicle will clear the way for Synergy to develop a pipeline of large scale solar and wind projects in WA.
A new report drafted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre shows that global solar energy investments overshadowed all other forms of electricity generation in 2017. China is leading the pack of the world’s largest renewables investors, followed by Australia, Mexico and Sweden.
After the 50MW Stage 1 solar farm was switched on late last year, the Kidston renewable energy hub has now received a development approval for 270MW of solar, which is to be co-located with a 250MW pumped storage hydro project.
From just a handful of large-scale solar PV projects a few years ago, Australia is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. With a substantial project pipeline, the country is in the box seat to experience a banner year in 2018, with the 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET) now in hand and a new policy taking shape for the period beyond.