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Clean Energy Outlook Confidence Index

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Posted on 11 December, 2020

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This index provides an insight into the status of the industry from leading CEOs and senior managers.

Since July 2018, the Clean Energy Council has conducted a bi-annual survey of senior leaders from across the clean energy industry to take a measure of their investment confidence, employment trends and the specific business challenges felt across the industry.

The December 2020 report is based on a survey conducted in November 2020 and consisted of the responses from over 50 CEOs and senior managers.

The results show that despite investment confidence decreasing slightly since the last survey taken in July 2020, investment confidence continues to be driven by the work being done by state governments with New South Wales rated as the most attractive place to invest in clean energy generation followed by Queensland and Victoria.

The industry once again cited concerns relating to the grid connection process as the biggest business challenge they face. They also rated network capacity and transmission concerns, future market design uncertainty, unpredictable government intervention in the energy market as being major challenges.

Investment confidence

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

Compared to 12 months ago, investment confidence has increased from 6.1 to 6.7 in December 2020 with the industry citing state-based targets a key reason for investment certainty.

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Investment confidence across states

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Investment confidence differed across states, with the highest investment confidence in New South Wales, followed by Victoria and Queensland.

Employment

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

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The response from industry leaders was almost on par with the last survey taken in July 2020, with just over half of all responders expecting to employ more staff in the next 12 months.

Top business challenges

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

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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 to address congestion and constraints was cited as the second biggest business challenge, followed by future market design uncertainty and unpredictable or unhelpful government intervention in the energy market. The top five and six challenges related to the lack of long-term federal energy and climate policy and concerns around marginal loss factors (MLFs).

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