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WSU Releases Insights on Lead Times for Renewable Energy Projects in Australia

2024-02-03
The University of Western Sydney (WSU) has published a comprehensive new study on the timelines involved in the planning, permitting, construction and commissioning of renewable energy projects.

The study, published in Energy Economics, is the first of its kind in Australia, according to the university. The study investigated 170 onshore wind and solar PV projects completed in Australia between 2000 and 2023.

 

Dr. Thomas Longden of the university's Centre for Urban Transformation Research emphasized that the feasibility of meeting Australia's 2030 renewable energy targets depends on the timeline of the projects.

 

The study shows a trend towards shorter lead times for onshore wind and solar projects. However, the study highlights an increase in commissioning lead times, which is the final stage of the process, especially for solar projects.

 

"With only about 70 months to go until 2030, we need accurate lead times to track our progress towards our 2030 renewable energy targets," said Dr. Langdon.

 

Solar projects take about 41 months to complete, with commissioning lead times extending six months or more.

 

Onshore wind projects have historically taken longer, but recent project cycles have been shortened to 53 months.

 

Dr. Langdon said that to meet the 2030 target, projects must begin planning within the next few years.

 

Despite the improvements, the study urges continued efforts to streamline administrative procedures, recommending the adoption of a "one-stop" application method and setting a maximum response time requirement for the authorities.

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