Australia’s first large-scale project to use pumped hydro to store solar generated power, the Kidston facility in north Queensland, has landed more than half a billion dollars in concessional finance from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
With an unprecedented rollout of rooftop solar reaching 1.1 GW and around 700 MW of large-scale renewable energy projects completed and connected to the grid, last year was an important turning point for Australia’s clean energy industry, shows the Clean Energy Council in its latest report. However, seven times bigger capacity of utility-scale projects with financial support or under construction at the year’s end is poised to eclipse 2017.
The Swiss investment manager and the Australian renewable energy developer stand ready to deliver a total of over 1.3 GW of solar, wind and battery projects across New South Wales within the next four years.
Continuing demand and a good first year means that the CEFC and RateSetter have agreed an extension to the green loans agreement, with over 150 new installations every month.
Community solar arrays or ‘solar gardens’ for people who can’t install a residential rooftop PV system could become a reality in Australia, with ARENA pouring in funds to fertilize the concept.
A new partnership is looking to introduce 10-year solar leases to WA. By targeting new builds and housing developments and halving the standard lease duration, the partnership aims to make solar leases attractive – where previously they have failed to gain traction.
The evolving outlook for project finance, as well as the gradual maturation of technologies, such as blockchain, present new challenges and opportunities for renewables, EY says in its latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) report. Uncertainty in the sector continues to drive a “relentless focus on cost” to soften the impact of protectionism, subsidy cuts and rising interest rates throughout the world, it adds.
Bringing electricity demand closer into line with supply will be one of the keys if Australia is to meet the disruptive challenges facing its market, and it’s an approach that could restore the country’s role as an energy leader. A steep challenge but optimistic outlook was offered by AEMO CEO Aubrey Zibelman in a wide-ranging address earlier this week.
Perth-based peer-to-peer (P2P) energy pioneer Power Ledger will partner with Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) to trial its blockchain-enabled platform. The limited trial will first involve only 10 homes in Osaka, however, Power Ledger says that Japan is an excellent fit for P2P energy trading.
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