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Celebrating the RET with an eye to the future

We did it. The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) has been met. In addition to delivering new generation critical to lowering power prices and improving reliability as coal generation ages and retires, the LRET has provided a massive boost to rural and regional Australia.

Nothing silences the critics of renewable energy more than when we deliver. Congratulations to all of you who played a huge role in this fantastic achievement.

After a record breaking two years of investment in large-scale wind and solar projects, the pace of projects reaching financial close has slowed dramatically in the past two quarters. What happens next is unclear.

There are a huge number of renewable energy projects in the pipeline, and no shortage of potential utility-scale batteries or pumped hydro projects to support the continued deployment of variable renewable energy projects. These storage projects can play a significant role in complementing and supporting renewable energy in a way that delivers a more resilient and reliable energy system. But these projects won’t happen by chance.

The lack of federal energy policy and a range of regulatory challenges – including grid connection, the constrained transmission system and a transmission loss factor regime that is no longer fit for purpose – mean that investment confidence in large-scale renewable energy and complementary energy storage is fragile. This is the message we will be taking to Canberra this week for our annual Parliamentary Reception. We have done a great job without much political support, just imagine what we could do with a dose of political leadership and cooperation.