Australian clean energy investment powering ahead

Australia's potential solar output exceeds electricity consumed in NEM.

Clean energy investments of more than $2 billion in 2016-2017 signal strong Australian business growth, statistics show.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has contributed to $11 billion worth of renewable energy projects in its first four years, it was revealed this week.

A government-owned Green Bank, the CEFC channels finance into key areas of renewable energy in Australia.

Tasked with developing low emission industry sectors, the CEFC has achieved investment commitments of $4.3 billion since its creation in 2013.

Rate of low-emission investment speeding up

Valued at just under $2.1 billion, investments secured across 35 transactions in 2016-2017 exceed those of the previous year.

PV solar cells

PV solar cells are among key CEFC investment projects. Image: Pixabay

According to the CEFC, these valuable projects indicate significant growth in business and investor appetite for clean energy assets.

Chief Executive Officer at CEFC Ian Learmonth says: “The accelerated pace of CEFC commitments in the past financial year reflects an improved policy environment and increased investor confidence.

“We welcome the increasing investor recognition of the diverse uses and considerable positive benefits of clean energy.”

Mr Learmonth describes this as the start of a transition to renewable energy, rather than the final result.

“Australia has enormous potential in clean energy, including exciting new technologies to further emissions reduction.

“This includes grid-scale batteries and pumped hydro storage, as well as emerging behind the meter and demand management solutions.”

Five key areas of CEFC investment include:

Social and community projects

  • New energy-efficient homes for low-income families.
  • Market-leading projects with Investa and AMP.
  • Reduction of freight transport emissions.

Businesses around Australia

  • More than 2,000 smaller-scale energy efficiency projects.
  • Agribusiness which includes Great Barrier Reef Catchment Area.

Support for regional economies

  • Ten large-scale solar projects in regional Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
  • Australia’s world-leading lithium resources focused on grid-scale batteries and electric vehicles.

Innovative ventures

  • Clean Energy Innovation fund committed $30 million in its first year.
  • Investment in unique carbon fibre wheels which reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
  • Backing for software specialist Greensynch.

Development of new finance sources

  • Accelerating the $4 billion green bond market in Australia.
  • $20 million commitment to Monash University’s world-first university climate bond.