July 2018

The Clean Energy Outlook provides an insight into the status of the Australian renewable energy and energy storage industries from leading CEOs and Senior Executives.

The Clean Energy Council surveyed 100 CEOs and Senior Executives from member companies to gauge investment confidence, employment trends and business challenges.

The results and associated comments from respondents reflected a consistent story – that investment and activity has been booming in the short term, but confidence for the longer term is lower than it would otherwise be due to the lack of policy certainty.

Investment confidence

What is your level of confidence to make investments in renewable energy in Australia in the next 3 years?

While investment confidence is at a reasonable level, it is certainly not strong. Responses to this question could be summed up in two words – policy uncertainty. This was an overwhelming trend throughout the survey and while confidence in the short term appears strong, CEOs and Senior Executives are wary of making longer-term investment decisions.

Employment

How do you expect the number of people your company employs in renewable energy in Australia to change in the next 12 months?

Employment within the renewable energy sector appears very strong in the short term with 73% of those surveyed saying they expect to increase the number of people employed in Australia in the next 12 months. But again, beyond 2020 there was less confidence in employment levels.

Employment growth expectations were particularly strong among smaller companies.

Top two business challenges

What factors are creating the greatest challenges for your business to develop renewable energy projects in Australia?

The leading challenges are the policy environment, followed closely by regulatory change. Responses indicated that network connections were an increasing bottleneck and companies are concerned by the rapid change to connection processes and requirements.