Clean Energy Finance Corp funding slumps

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/clean-energy-finance-corp-funding-slumps/news-story/56af175193d049657ea0338559392dff

Clean Energy Finance Corp funding slumps – theaustralian.com.au The Clean Energy Finance Corporation said it committed $1.5 billion to investments in 2018-19, down from a record $2.3bn a year earlier. Chief executive Ian Learmonth said there was a lack of … http://www.theaustralian.com.au

Clean Energy Finance Corp funding slumps


·         Andrew White

Associate Editor

@i_am_mr_white

New investment funding by the nation’s green energy bank slumped by a third in 2018-19 after a change in direction ordered by the federal government and the early completion of the renewable energy target.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation said it committed $1.5 billion to investments in 2018-19, down from a record $2.3bn a year earlier.

Chief executive Ian Learmonth said there was a lack of large-scale wind and solar projects for the CEFC to invest in after developers and retailers rushed to fill the mandated.

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Private financiers and markets had also been more available to prospective developers last financial year.

But it also reflected a change in mandate ordered by Energy Minister Angus Taylor in December for the CEFC to move away from grid-scale generation and focus more on reliability, grid stability and emerging technologies.

Mr Learmonth said grid-scale batteries and pumped-hydro generation that backed up the volatility of renewable generation were among the priorities for the CEFC.

The CEFC had also been asked to look at backing network investments that would improve the ability of new generation and back-up to move around the grid, such as a new undersea cable from Tasmania to Victoria.

“Following strong progress in the development of the large-scale solar and wind sectors, our investments will also increasingly target new technologies where there is less appetite from mainstream investors, including pumped storage and large-scale batteries, behind-the-meter generation and grid solutions,” Mr Learmonth said.

CEFC funding of $1.5bn was spread across 30 transactions with a total value of $6.3bn.

The leverage of each CEFC dollar by the private sector increased to around $3 in the past financial year, up from a long-term average of around $2.

For the first time since 2012 the CEFC deployed $1.3bn into the clean energy sector in a single 12-month period, while a record $320 million in CEFC finance was repaid and recycled into new investments.

New commitments included $940m in renewable energy and $524m across a range of energy efficiency and low emissions projects.

Separately, Australia now has the second lowest renewable energy costs in the Asia Pacific region behind India with solar to be cost competitive against coal in 2020, data from consultancy WoodMackenzie shows.

The levelised cost of solar energy in Australia has dropped 42 per cent in the past three years and will reach $US48/MWh ($69) in 2020, beating fossil fuel alternatives coal and gas.

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