, Australia

Eight new RE projects start construction in Q1

The financial commitments during the period declined on the other hand.

Australia saw eight new large-scale generation and storage projects that began construction in the first three months of 2023 with a total value of $858.9m (A$1.3b), the Clean Energy Council reported.

Whilst the construction of clean energy projects peaked, the Council said new financial commitments declined as no new large-scale renewable generation projects reached a financial close during the period.

Only the Rangebank battery storage project in Melbourne’s south-east achieved financial close to 200 megawatts of capacity with a $264.3m (A$400m) new investment. This is below the investment in the previous quarter and the rolling 12-month quarterly average of $1.1b (A$1.6b).

"Australia needs to double the rate of renewable energy deployment to ensure we have enough new supply to drive down power prices, replace exiting coal generation and ensure we achieve the target of 82% renewable energy by 2030 and put Australia on a path to achieve net-zero by 2050," said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton.

READ MORE: Australia is amongst fastest markets to move away from coal: report

"A slowdown in the rate of new projects reaching financial close is at odds with our need to accelerate deployment. While energy investors are enthusiastic about investing in clean energy in Australia, there are a variety of headwinds that are undermining confidence at present," he added.

Thornton said these headwinds include the global competition for clean energy as countries follow the US Inflation Reduction Act and the growth in the scale and incentives for clean energy, and the challenges in the grid, amongst others.

He added that there are no policies that matched Australia’s Renewable Energy Target in terms of the abatement enabled, the certainty provided, and investment opened investment.

“Extending it beyond 2030 would be simple and fast, and the costs associated with this extension will be far outweighed by lower energy prices that we know will follow," he said.

$1 = A$1.51

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