Australian news, and some related international items

Australian government paralyses renewable energy industries in uncertainty over Renewables Target

Renewable energy ‘dead’ as industry waits for target policy July 25, 2014  Reporter at The Canberra Times Leaders of the nation’s sustainable energy sector have warned the industry is doomed if the federal government fails to commit to the renewable energy target, with approved projects in danger of never being built.

With the government due to receive the report from a review of the Renewable Energy Target within days, Australian Solar Council chief executive John Grimes said policy uncertainty had already hurt investment.

“The big projects today in Australia are dead, and the only prospect of reviving them is to shift the federal government on this issue,” he said. “If you’ve got a government that has all but said publicly that there’ll be no more wind farms on our watch, you have no investor confidence or certainty.”

Figures show there was $40 million invested in large-scale renewables nationally in the year to June, compared with $2.7 billion last year.

Clean Energy Council chairman Miles George said he did not expect the review to recommend the scrapping of the target, but investors were not prepared to take the risk that government would change its mind and lower the energy goal, despite confirmed opposition to this from the Palmer United Party.

Mr George, also managing director of Infigen Energy, the nation’s largest wind farm developer, said the company’s stalled Capital II wind farm at Bungendore, north of Canberra, was an example of the difficulties projects faced in attracting commitments from energy retailers required to buy the RET scheme’s large-scale certificates.

Business and mining interests united last week to call for a scrapping of the target or at least a reduction so the sustainable energy produced in 2020 was a “real 20 per cent” of the nation’s electricity. Declines in use of electricity from the grid each year since 2009 mean the current target of 41,000 gigawatt hours annually is now expected to be 28 per cent of all use by the end of the decade.:

August 4, 2014 - Posted by | General News

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