Posted on 29 November, 2021Download
Since July 2018, the Clean Energy Council has conducted a bi-annual survey of senior leaders from across the clean energy industry to measure their investment confidence, employment trends and the business challenges across the industry.
The December 2021 report is based on a survey conducted in November 2021 and consisted of the responses from over 60 CEOs and senior managers.
The results show an overall increase in investor confidence since the last survey in July 2021. Industry leaders cited favourable state government policies as the key driver for the increase in investment confidence.
Concerns relating to the grid connection process was once again ranked as the top business challenge. The industry also rated network capacity and transmission concerns, government intervention in the energy market, lack of long-term federal energy policy and future market design uncertainty as major challenges.
The results also show that industry leaders expressed ambivalence about the Federal Government’s recent commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 and emphasised the need for a stronger 2030 emissions reduction target.
What is your level of confidence to make investments in renewable energy in Australia in the next three years?
Investment confidence dropped in 2020 and in the first half of 2021, but has now recovered by a point from 6.3 in July to 7.3 in December 2021. The industry cited strong state government commitments and policy development as key reasons for stronger investment confidence.
Investment confidence continues to differ across states, with NSW showing the strongest investment.
How do you expect the number of people your company employs in renewable energy in Australia to change in the next 12 months?
The majority of those surveyed expect to employ more staff in the next 12 months.
What factors are creating the greatest challenges for your business to develop renewable energy projects in Australia?
The top business challenge rated by the industry was once again concerns and challenges related to grid connection process and technical requirements, with the industry citing this as the top challenge since July 2019.
Under-investment in network capacity was rated the second biggest challenge by the industry, followed by unpredictable government intervention in the energy market and a lack of long-term integrated federal energy and climate policy. The top five and six challenges related to concerns around future market design and marginal loss factors (MLFs).
For the first time, senior leaders were asked to reflect on the recent net zero 2050 commitment made by the Federal Government. The results show that for the majority of responses it did not change their level of investment confidence but a stronger 2030 emissions reduction target would significantly increase investment confidence.