Posted on 10 September, 2019Download
The Clean Energy Regulator announced this month that the 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) has now been met. However, a lack of federal energy policy certainty and the combination of a range of regulatory challenges mean that investment confidence in large-scale renewable energy and the accompanying energy storage is fragile.
After reaching a high of over 4500 MW in late 2018, quarterly investment commitments in new renewable energy projects have since collapsed to less than 800 MW in each of the first two quarters of 2019.
More than 500 MW of large-scale battery projects have already been financially committed, along with more than 9000 MW of pumped hydro potential which has been identified.
This demonstrates that there is no shortage of potential from energy storage to support the continued deployment of variable renewable energy projects and to meet peak power load as ageing coal-fired power stations exit the system. These storage projects can play a significant role to complement and support the continued deployment of renewable energy in a way that delivers a more resilient, affordable and reliable energy system.
While large-scale renewable energy no longer needs subsidies, long-term policy certainty and regulatory reform are crucial to giving confidence to investors. As Australia’s coal fired generation continues to close, it is critical that new renewable energy and energy storage continue to be deployed to reduce Australia’s energy sector carbon emissions, secure system reliability and lower energy prices.