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The Clean Energy Council calls for an expansion of renewable energy projects


The Clean Energy Council called for an acceleration of renewable energy projects after the AEMO report highlighted the declining reliability of coal generation.


Clean Energy Council executive director Kane Thornton said AEMO's report on energy opportunities was another reminder of the importance of new investment to ensure energy security and affordability and to meet the ambitious target of 82 percent renewable energy by 2030.


Despite the huge potential and numerous projects in the pipeline, the lack of strategic planning and reform over the last decade means that investors face a number of barriers to new investment.


AEMO's report follows the Clean Energy Council's quarterly report on renewable energy projects for the second quarter of 2023, which shows that while storage projects are on track, renewable energy generation is lagging behind.


"The time for complacency is over, it's time to release the handbrake and start building the plants we need," said Thornton.

"The renewable energy industry has spent many years exceeding targets that many thought were unattainable.


"We are ready to build what is needed. But industry leaders have let us know that they face serious challenges, and they have made it clear that they need help to move forward and get the job done.


"More than anything, those willing to make the necessary investments need and deserve certainty.


Research for the Clean Energy Council's Energy Outlook Confidence Index identified ten challenges:


  • Concerns and challenges related to the grid connection process and technical requirements.
  • Concerns about the role of state governments in owning power generation and precluding or undermining private investment.
  • Insufficient investment in grid capacity to address congestion and constraints.
  • Lack of a clear national market incentive - such as an expanded RET - to encourage new investment in renewables.
  • Uncertainty about the future market design
  • Concerns and uncertainties regarding marginal loss factors
  • Falling energy demand has an impact on the wholesale energy market
  • Uncertainty about the timing of the phase-out of coal-fired power generation.
  • Difficulties in obtaining project approvals
  • Recruitment and retention of skilled labor.


"If we overcome these challenges, we are confident that we can create a reliable, cost-effective energy system that achieves 82 percent renewables by 2030, meets our long-term emissions targets and prepares Australia to become a clean energy superpower."


Thornton said there was a huge pipeline of renewable energy projects in Australia, but investors were overwhelmed by global opportunities, while barriers made Australian projects less attractive.


"Addressing these barriers requires real leadership and collaboration between government, industry, market organizations and regulators to overcome many of these challenges. The commitment and progress in addressing this challenge is now strong and almost universal."

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