GE sees USD-3.3bn renewables investment in Australia at stake - report
Jul 18, 2014 - US conglomerate General Electric (NYSE:GE) has expressed concerns about the fate of its AUD 3.5 billion (USD 3.3bn/EUR 2.4bn) of planned investments in Australia prompted by the country’s plans to scrap its renewable energy target (RET) scheme, the Australian said Thursday.
GE’s chairman John Rice told the newspaper that he has appealed to the Australian government to stop the political uncertainty in the country and speed up the RET revision. “If there is a change I would like to see, (it’s) a change that gives us and other investors confidence that it is going to stay in place for a while,” Rice told the Australian.
Australia aims to source 20% of its total power from renewables by 2020. However, the percentage has been questioned ever since the new government picked Warburton to review the scheme. The RET revision has forced many developers to put on hold projects in Australia and put at risk about AUD 15 billion of future projects.
In May, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) warned that the reduction of the RET in Australia may lead to a AUD-12-billion (USD 11.3bn/EUR 8.3bn) drop in investment in the sector and 6,600 fewer renewable energy jobs per year. If the RET is abandoned altogether, clean energy investment is expected to fall by AUD 21 billion and the number of clean energy jobs per year will go down by 11,100.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.