Australia is targeting 20% clean energy by 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which would put investments in renewable energy at US$39 billion over the coming decade.
BNEF research forecasts almost A$28 billion will be spent on utility-scale renewable power projects while a further A$8 billion will be invested by householders and businesses in small-scale solar installations. Investment is expected to peak in 2017 with more than A$5 billion spent on wind and solar developments in that year, BNEF said.
“We forecast that strong levels of investment will continue thanks to the national targets and the rapidly falling costs of clean energy,” said Seb Henbest, head of BNEF’s research team in Sydney.
Under Australia’s target for 20% renewable energy production by 2020, electricity retailers will need to surrender renewable energy certificates created from both large- and small-scale renewable energy technologies. However, large-scale projects are expected to deliver the majority of the 2020 target.
Assuming the target is met, BNEF predicted renewable energy capacity will exceed 20GW by 2020, with 11.9GW of wind energy, 4.3GW of large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) energy, 1GW of thermal solar and 3.3GW of small-scale rooftop solar PV capacity.
Last month, the Australian government approved construction of a 44MW solar thermal project at electricity generator CS Energy’s Kogan Creek coal-fired power station in south-east Queensland. The A$104 million project, scheduled to become operational in 2013, is described by Queensland government-owned CS Energy as the largest solar project in the southern hemisphere.
By. Charlotte Dudley
Source: Environmental Finance