Securing the future by investing in Australia’s renewable generation
Australia is rich with natural fossil fuel resources; but it’s also home to boundless renewable energy sources, with long hours of sunshine and substantial wind troughs to capitalise on. As Australia begins to transform its energy market, a number of major oil and gas players are also beginning to diversify by adding renewables projects to their development pipeline.
Australia’s strong position in renewable generation has urged many of the big players in the oil and gas industry to develop their own renewable energy sources and explore future possibilities in the field. This has marked an increase in the uptake of renewables across Australia, with the Federal Government’s 2020 Australian Energy Statistics showing that 21 per cent of Australia’s electricity came from renewable energy in 2019, up from 19 per cent in the previous year.
There are currently 95 renewable projects that are in construction (or due to start construction soon) in Australia. This is based on projects that have reached financial close and are not yet commissioned. These projects will deliver over $19.5 billion in capital costs, 11,231MW of new renewable energy capacity and create 13,849 direct jobs 1.
And there’s plenty more growth to come, with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) indicating that over 30GW of new grid-scale renewables will be needed over the next twenty years to replace Australia’s aging coal-fired power generation 2.
The major players exploring renewables
Origin Energy is one of the major players in the Australian energy market, as one of the “big three” generation and retail businesses down under. Since 2000, the company has been making huge investments in wind and solar. Among their renewable portfolio are purchase agreements with large wind and solar farms, as well as being Australia’s largest installers of home solar panels. Origin estimates that over 330,000 homes are able to be powered by their wind power investments; and 360,000 of their customers have solar PV installed.
AGL, also a big three business, has made major strides to incorporate renewables into its energy generation. In fact, AGL is the biggest ASX-listed investor in renewable energy generation in Australia. Among it’s renewable energy generation assets are major wind and solar farms in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. In addition to the farms, AGL has also invested in a number of landfill gas, biogas and hydroelectric schemes to further supplement their renewable energy output.
Australia’s third major generation and retail business, EnergyAustralia, is also making moves to diversify its portfolio. EnergyAustralia is particularly active in the wind energy space, operating the Waterloo Wind Farm and holding power purchase agreements with a number of other wind farms around the country. In total, the company’s investments in renewable generation equate to over $1 billion.
Australia’s major energy distributors are also making active moves to add renewable generation into their company portfolios. APA Group owns significant energy infrastructure all around the country; and in recent years, they have also invested in clean energy generation projects. To date, APA has invested around $750 million in renewable projects, including three wind farms and three solar farms, which are assisting the company in its transition to a low carbon economy. APA is also evaluating the integration of renewable fuel supplies like renewable methane and hydrogen into existing distribution systems to reduce its carbon footprint.
Similarly, another major player in the distribution market, Jemena, is also looking to increase its clean energy credentials, in this case with a particular emphasis on green hydrogen. The company is behind a push for the government to establish a green gas certification scheme, which would have huge benefits for the development of a hydrogen industry in Australia – something the government is already supporting through its $300 million Advancing Hydrogen fund.
Investing in Australia
There has never been a better time for investment in renewable energy in Australia. With so many major companies investing in renewable generation, the clean energy movement is accelerating exponentially.
Australia’s pipeline of renewable energy development presents an incredible opportunity for companies looking to provide products and services to enable the effective and cost-efficient delivery of projects.
For more information about how your business could potentially become involved in the renewable energy project market in Australia, contact Powered Australia for a confidential discussion about the opportunities down under.