Monday, 27 August 2012

Asia eyes green energy in Australia
21 Aug 2012

Renewable energy currently comprises around 9% of Australia's energy generation against the Australian Government's renewable energy target of reaching 20% generation by 2020.

With a carbon pricing scheme in place since July, along with several well funded federal and state government financing schemes, the shift to renewable energy has become one of the main themes in the Australian energy industry.

In addition to connecting renewable power to the national grid, there are a range of mining and infrastructure projects around the country which have started planning to use standalone and dedicated renewable sources, from wind to solar and even tidal power.

Wind ventures
With such a solid focus on increasing renewable output, the sector has attracted strong interest from international investors and energy companies. In keeping with the trend elsewhere in the economy, mainland Chinese companies have been prominent, particularly in wind, which is currently the most developed of the renewable sectors in Australia.

Investors from other Asian countries have been active as well, and their interest has spanned not only wind but also geothermal and bioenergy.

Perhaps the first of these forays was the Roaring 40s wind power joint venture, formed in 2005 by Hong Kong CLP Group and state-owned Hydro Tasmania. That venture was unwound last year with the assets being split between the partners, but in its six-year history, Roaring 40s was a major pioneer of wind farm development both in Australia and overseas, with projects in India, Hong Kong and mainland China.

In Australia, those wind projects were centred in South Australia-an early adopter with wind now comprising more than 30% of the state's energy mix-and in Hydro Tasmania's home state. In the break-up of the Roaring 40s joint venture, Hydro Tasmania took the Tasmanian projects while CLP Group emerged with the two South Australian wind farms.

Those assets were subsequently transferred to CLP Group's Australian subsidiary TRUEnergy, which is considering selling one of the wind farms, the 111MW (MW) Waterloo project. ANZ Bank was recently hired to advise on that sale.

TRUEnergy retains a 50% interest in the smaller 66MW Cathedral Rocks project, in partnership with Spanish company ACCIONA Energy. It also has plans for a large 180MW solar farm in Victoria, a plan which has received backing from Ted Baillieu, the current Premier of Victoria.

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Green Apple Energy USA said...

I believe they should be going for a much higher result and % then 20% by 2020. The equilibrium for the marketing is much better in Australia for renewables versus non-renewables.

-Sharone Tal
Solar NJ