On the back of its large-scale renewable boom, Australia has seen a drop in wholesale electricity prices and a downward emissions trajectory. So, the questions arises: what extra value can the hotly-contested National Energy Guarantee create for Australia’s electricity market beyond 2020? The Energy Security Board has had its final say on the issue.
The Western Australia government has signaled scrapping or winding back subsidies for rooftop solar, while looking for ways to boost battery uptake.
According to the latest statistics from the Clean Energy Council (CEC), there are 42 wind and solar projects totaling 6239 MW worth close to $10 billion currently in construction or due to start soon across Australia. The unprecedented large-scale renewables activity is, however, surrounded by growing uncertainty over future policy and regulatory change.
In what analysts worldwide are sure to look back on as the last golden period for global solar – at least for the immediate future – China saw more impressive figures for PV manufacturing in the first half of the year. Then the government stepped in.
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.
The California Energy Commission is expected to approve the 2019 Building Energy Code that calls for solar PV on all new homes. The goal is net zero residential energy usage.
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 Energy Security Board released its consultation paper on the National Energy Guarantee at the end of last week. Olivia Kember from clean energy advisory Energetics investigates what the emerging policy details reveal about the policy as a means of facilitating emission reductions and spurring innovation.
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