Friday, 23 September 2011

Renewable projects in limbo

Summaries - Australian Financial Review
20 Sep 2011, Page: 1

Billions of dollars in renewable energy investment could be stimulated by the introduction of the carbon pricing scheme. New investment in renewable energy is currently stalled by political uncertainty, according to BP Solar manager large commercial projects Tony Stocken. AGL Energy chief executive Michael Fraser is concerned about incentives for the private sector to invest in renewable energy.

A secure carbon pricing mechanism will immediately stimulate approximately $20 billion in new investment by super funds and banks, according to Industry Funds Management chairman Garry Weaven. There are currently an estimated 588 MWs of committed renewable energy targets, according to Pacific Hydro general manager Lane Crockett. Westpac head of infrastructure and utilities Didier Van Not claimed that investment certainty it necessary to attract the necessary capital to launch new renewable projects.

The current political risk would add a risk premium to investment in renewable energy, added Commonwealth Bank utilities, energy and renewable solutions head Nick Sankey. The Victorian government's changes to planning laws regarding wind farms have shaken investor confidence. Spanish company Acciona Energy is lobbying the federal government to change the National Electricity Market Management Company rules. Investment in transmission infrastructure should be a high priority for the government, according to Acciona Energy's Australian development director, Andrew Thomson.