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Clean energy investment collapses as risks and uncertainty mount

The level of new investment commitments in large-scale renewable energy projects has collapsed by more than 50 per cent according to new analysis by the Clean Energy Council which reveals a fall from 51 projects worth $10.7 billion in 2018 down to 28 projects worth $4.5 billion in 2019.

While the strong flow of projects that were committed in 2017 and 2018 are now coming online, the pipeline of new projects commencing construction has dropped significantly due to the stalling of commitments in 2019.

Renewable energy project flow 2018 2019

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said mounting regulatory risks, under investment in transmission and policy uncertainty have contributed to increased risks for investors and resulted in a lowering in confidence and slow-down in investment commitment.

“A continued slow-down in new investment will put greater pressure on reliability and power prices as Australia’s old coal-fired power stations continue to close. New investment is critical to replacing these coal-fired power stations and delivering on Australia’s emission reduction targets,” Mr Thornton said.

This reduced investment confidence was reflected in the Clean Energy Council’s recent Clean Energy Outlook Index which revealed a clear fall in investor confidence in the sector.

The top reasons for a decline in investor confidence was due to grid connection issues, a lack of strong national energy and climate policy and network congestions and constraints.

Many of the rules relating to grid connection, network investment and market design are no longer fit-for-purpose and are a significant deterrent to potential investors.

“These issues need to be resolved urgently if Australia hopes to attract investors and ensure the necessary level of new energy generation capacity.”

“Renewable energy has been the shining light in reducing emissions in Australia,” Mr Thornton said. “If we hope to maintain this, we need strong leadership and collaboration to address the policy gaps and regulatory barriers facing new generation.”

Please contact Clean Energy Council Digital & Marketing Manager Andreas Wenzel on 03 9929 4114 for more information or to arrange an interview.