Large scale renewables in Australia hit highest levels since 2013

Large scale renewables in Australia hit highest levels since 2013

Investment in large scale renewable energy in Australia has hit its highest levels since 2013, but it remains short of the level needed to meet the decreased renewable energy target in 2020.

The second quarter in 2016 showed investment in large scale wind at its highest levels since 2013, just before the Abbott government was elected and halted investment in large scale renewables.

AUS$645 million was invested in wind energy in the first half of 2016 compared to $721 million for the entire 2015 and only $8 million in 2014.

The renewable energy target (RET) was eventually reduced from 41,000GWh to 33,000Gwh, but investment has been slow due to the refusal of the largest utilities to provide long term power purchase agreements, the absence of any contracts by large consumers, unlike the US where corporate buyers are contracting solar and wind farms.

Analysts said that the large scale renewables investment needs to significantly speed up if the target is to be met.

Solar investment totalled to $653 million in the first half and some of this will include large scale solar but the majority of it reflects on rooftop solar investment.

Part of this reflects the fall away from the increase from generous feed in tariffs, but also reflects that solar has dropped by between $60-80 over that time.