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Australia saw just three new projects reaching the stage of financial commitment in the second quarter of 2021, the second-lowest tally for quarterly project commitments since early 2017, The Sydney Morning Herald reports, citing data from Australia’s industry group Clean Energy Council.
The constant changes in Australia’s energy policies over the past year, as well as its resistance to commit to a net-zero by 2050 target like many industrialized nations, are part of the obstacles that solar and wind power projects in the country face, the Clean Energy Council and opposition politicians tell The Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hannam.
“Investment in clean energy has fallen to levels not seen for several years as a result of the increased risks facing investors, including from grid connection and network constraints as well as the ongoing unpredictable and unhelpful government policy interventions and market reforms,” Kane Thornton, Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council, told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Commenting on the government’s policies, opposition Labor representative and Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen said:
“Their energy chaos of 22 energy policies in eight years and a refusal to join 70 per cent of our trading partners in decarbonising by 2050, has sent shockwaves through the investment community.”
Earlier this week, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison declined, once again, to commit the country to a target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, like many Australian allies and large trade partners such as the U.S. and the UK have already done.
“I won’t be signing a blank cheque on behalf of Australians to targets without plans,” Morrison said, adding, “Blank cheque commitments you always end up paying for, and you always end up paying in higher taxes.”
Australia’s approach “is technology, not taxes” in its efforts to fight climate change, the prime minister said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.