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Policy guidance needed for renewables

Policy guidance needed for renewables

The future energy system in Australia is built on an assumption of renewables in the electricity grids, but the pipeline of projects may not last beyond 2020.

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton says the recent report from the council outlined about $7.5 billion in funds committed to projects that would contribute to the Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 gigawatt hours by 2020.

"There is significant momentum in renewables development," Thornton says. "We'll meet the target before 2020. Over half of the projects we need to reach the target have closed and some are under construction."

The Renewable Energy Target (RET) was designed to cover large-scale power generation with financial incentives to the investors. Increasing renewables in the grid is one way to reduce carbon emissions while maintaining economic growth.

He says the current RET projects are evenly split between utility-scale solar photovoltaic, and wind farms, with technologies such as biomass and solar-thermal (where steam is created by concentrated sun rays) not being invested in for the 2020 RET.

Financial Review

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