Victorian renewable energy investment stalled
Summary: MARKET uncertainty has sucked the wind out of investment in Victoria’s renewable energy sector.....
Clean Energy Council analysis shows Victoria is now ranked last on the east coast ladder of investment in renewable energy projects, with just five wind and solar farms to be built this year.
NSW is on track to build 1018 megawatts of renewable generation capacity, Queensland another 15 projects delivering 964MW and South Australia 863MW. Victoria is expected to build 685MW of projects this year.
The slump is being blamed on the Victorian Government’s failure to detail how it will deliver its multibillion-dollar state-based renewable energy target.
Premier Daniel Andrews last June said Victoria would go it alone in establishing its own renewable energy target to generate 25 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2020, rising to 40 per cent by 2025. The targets would be supported by a competitive reverse auction scheme.
Mr Andrews said this would deliver an estimated $2.5 billion of investment in the state and more than 4000 additional jobs.
The Government called on industry groups to lodge submissions by August 31 last year on how to deliver up to 5400MW of new large-scale capacity to the state.
But neither the Premier nor Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio have released further details since then.
When asked by The Weekly Times what was happening Ms D’Ambrosio’s office said the renewable energy target would be introduced in Parliament this year.
Whatever scheme is developed, renewable projects will need to be subsidised through a charge on consumers’ electricity bills.
Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said the sector supported the renewable energy target and was excited by the potential to build renewable energy in Victoria. “But the reality is that many developers of solar and wind farms are waiting on the Victorian Renewable Energy Target to be finalised before committing to building projects,” Mr Thornton said.
About 14 per cent of Victoria’s electricity currently comes from renewable sources.