The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has published its annual report this week, a report glowing with the hue of ‘prudent investment’ according to the CEFC Chair. The report emphasises the prudence and efficacy of the green bank’s mandate despite attempts by the Morrison Government to siphon off funds for fossil-fuel investments.
Investment in large-scale solar appears to be faltering in Australia. The technology with the lowest cost, with no emissions and the fastest time to delivery, has often found itself dangling at the oversubscribed end of a limp transmission line, with additional, expensive requirements to connect, or earnings-slashing curtailments when operational. Investors have found no reassurance in the federal government’s winking at coal, courting of gas, and undermining of agencies established to support innovation and investment in renewables. In short, the Australian prime minister is showing a complete lack of urgency to act on climate change. Enter the Renewable Energy Zone.
The Western Australian Government has given environmental approval to the first stage of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a 15 GW hybrid solar and wind plant. The approval is a massive step forward for the project, which will eventually reach 26 GW, and an even larger step forward for green hydrogen development in Australia for domestic use and export.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is chipping in over $700,000 to help Frasers Property Australia build 51 energy efficient homes complete with a solar embedded network. The idea is to demonstrate to the wider housing sector that energy efficient homes can be built at scale and be cost-effective to the customer.
The Western Australian Government’s Energy Transformation Taskforce has revealed its first blueprint for the isolated state’s energy system transformation over the next two decades. The blueprint, which features four separate models, sees rooftop solar and accompanying battery storage excel in the coming years, although it suggests coal-fired power will still have a large presence.
BlackRock, the $7.3 trillion asset manager and one of AGL Energy’s largest shareholders, broke ranks at AGL’s recent annual shareholder meeting to side with the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility’s resolution to accelerate the closure of the energy giant’s coal-fired power stations. The move is significant for BlackRock who had so far only talked the talk, but now seems to be walking the walk.
Vector Powersmart has completed construction on New Zealand’s largest solar array, which is also, incidently, New Zealand’s largest floating solar array. The 1 MW system isn’t just floating around doing nothing though, it’s generating approximately a quarter of the Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant’s energy needs.
The Clean Energy Council has lambasted the Morrison Government’s Federal Budget 2020 as a missed opportunity for a widely popular renewable recovery effort. In fact, not only has the Morrison Government failed to fund Australia’s future, it has succeeded in funding the nation’s decaying past, including money for the controversial Vales Point coal-fired power station.
Despite weeks with a Morrison Government sponsored gas cloud overhead a silver lining has appeared in the form of SunDrive, an Australian startup which just received $3 million in ARENA funding to help scale its low-cost, high-efficiency solar cell and manufacturing process.
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