World : Aussie clean energy summit helps power future of renewables

The organisations and individuals met at 2019 Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney on Tuesday to drive Australia's transition to renewable energies.

In welcoming attendees, Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said that while Australia's renewable energy sector continues to grow, there remains challenges and uncertainties regarding the scaling of operations, connectivity to the grid, and the lack of a coherent national emissions reduction policy.

"It's been record-breaking last two years for our industry with 24 billion Australian dollars (16.5 billion U.S. dollars) worth of utility scale investment, over 2 million Australian homes now have rooftop solar and we've built the biggest battery in the world," Thornton said in the opening address.

"However, a number of significant challenges remain, most notably the continued lack of a clear long-term energy and emissions reduction policy."

Despite the lack of agreement at federal level, states such as New South Wales (NSW) are introducing policies and incentives to get world leading projects off the ground.

NSW minister for energy and environment Matthew Kean revealed the goal of making his state the easiest jurisdiction within the OECD to develop new energy infrastructure.

"This will involve making our planning and other approval processes as streamlined as possible," Kean said.

"There are more than 19,400 megawatts of large scale renewable energy projects approved or progressing through the planning system in NSW, worth around 17.9 billion U.S. dollars to our economy."

One of the organisations helping drive the transition to clean energy is Chinese company, LONGi, a leading manufacturer of solar technology which opened an office in Australia last year.

Australian Regional director for LONGi, Guo Hongyan told Xinhua that her company hopes to offer the Australian market a better approach to solar energy by continuing to innovate technologically.

"I think the main challenge in the competition is product homogeneity. Maybe this is a bottleneck for the whole market," Guo said.

"In the future we may recommend LONGi group remain committed to the technology upgrade of renewable solar energy products, which could give our products a leading position in the Australian market and offer Australia a better approach to solar energy."

Representing a range of companies in the clean energy sector was the Business Renewables Centre Australia (BRCA), an organisation which helps corporate buyers sign power purchase agreements with renewable energy developers.

"We've got 13 gigawatts of listings in the projects, which is a massive amount of energy producing plant that is looking for this kind of contract," BRCA project officer, Finnian Murphy told Xinhua.

"Even if we see a small fraction of that get contracted, it will be amazing for the renewable energy target in Australia."

Murphy said that despite policy uncertainty, many of Australia's largest organisations are looking to meet sustainability targets and see renewable energy as a key part of that.

"Everybody's looking for this kind of arrangement, because it's a win-win in terms of finance and sustainability," he said.


Source :

Smart Grid Bulletin July 2019

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