A new report released by The Australia Institute reveals the Senate crossbench has safeguarded $23.4 billion worth of investment in renewable energy from 2013-2018, when it prevented the Coalition Government from abolishing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, ARENA and slashing the Renewable Energy Target.
The December meeting of the COAG Energy Council has grabbed headlines as NSW attempted to push for a zero-emissions policy only to be blocked by Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor. But, in a rare substantive outcome of the meeting, the energy ministers agreed to develop a national hydrogen strategy.
NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin is tentatively welcomed into the renewable-energy winners’ circle as an acrimonious COAG meeting shows the Federal Government ever more on the outer.
A survey run by the Clean Energy Council among senior executives, leading with a combined net worth of more than $17 billion, shows that clean energy investment confidence is strong. The majority of companies are looking to put on extra staff in the next year. However, challenges in achieving project grid connection and policy uncertainty are causing great stress in the long run.
Under a new Investment Mandate, the Morrison government has instructed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to support the development of a market for firming intermittent sources of renewable energy and to prioritise investments that support “more reliable, 24/7 power“.
Clean-energy advocates have slammed Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s proposal to underwrite investment in new “firm” generation capacity as a “coal-preservation fund”. The first formal outing of the policy appears vague, non-binding, and heading perhaps in the wrong direction.
The federal government has launched a strategy seeking investment to unlock Australia’s potential in lithium-ion battery manufacturing. Noting that the nation’s mineral reserves cover 90% of the elements required in li-ion battery chemistry, the new Austrade report underlines that Australia is well-positioned to become a world leader in this fast growing market.
Does renewable electricity raise or lower electricity prices? There is more to this question than meets the eye: are prices lower before or after renewable subsidies are recovered, how has variability been accounted for, how have changes in network costs been accounted for, and so on and on. Bruce Mountain, the Director of the Victoria Energy Policy Centre and Steven Percy, a research fellow at Victoria University set out new findings.
That would mean a market increase of around 25% on this year. Demand is predicted to become particularly strong in the second half of the year. Australia is forecast to see lower demand than usual in the first quarter, but also be among 16 nations worldwide that will add over 1 GW of solar capacity in 2019.
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