The Clean Energy Council reports that power prices could continue to escalate if Australia’s renewable energy target is not replaced.
In a briefing paper submitted Wednesday, the group states that investment in new renewable energy projects went down in 2019, after attaining a high in late 2018.
Quarterly investments in newly sparked renewable energy projects achieved heights of over 4500MW in late 2018, but dropped to 800MW in each quarter in 2019.
The Clean Energy Council is renewing its summons for a national policy to lend confidence to investors.
The briefing paper was released approximately a week after Australia met its 2020 renewable energy target, which the federal government has no plans to extend.
With this target, 33,000 gigawatt-hours – or 23.5 per cent – of Australia’s electricity will originate from renewable sources by the year 2020.
Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton believes that future investments will descend sans a new target, which could lead to heightened power prices and put at risk the overall reliability of electricity. He says that investors have had to balance their great interest in Australian wind and solar projects with a noted absence of national policy, the burgeoning possibility of government interference in the energy market, and a range of outdated regulations. He says that newly minted clean energy projects are constructed to guarantee lower power costs and enhanced reliability when old power sources are retired from service.
Although the bill has not returned to parliament, the coalition still hopes to restore its thusly called “big stick” legislation, threatening to dissolve energy companies if they are discovered raising their prices.
The energy industry opposes the proposal, and the Clean Energy Council believes that it may deter investors.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor is also expected to indicate as to how the government’s plan to underwrite new power projects would be workable, or the amount of taxpayer money that would be contributed to this plan.