SolarReserve shelves Australian investment plans - report
Jul 7, 2014 - US solar projects developer SolarReserve LLC has put on hold plans to develop projects on the retail market in Australia due to policy uncertainty, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said today, citing the firm’ CEO.
SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith said that the company’s decision was prompted by Australia’s plans to scrap its renewable energy target (RET) scheme. Concerns have been deepened by the appointment of global warming skeptic Dick Warburton as head of the programme’s revision.
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.
California-based SolarReserve develops utility-scale concentrated solar power plants with integrated molten salt thermal storage technology. It expected its technology to be adopted by the mining industry for remote locations.
The RET revision has forced many developers to put on hold projects in Australia. In April, the ABC said that US-based First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) might reconsider its future investments in the country.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) warned in May that the reduction of the RET in Australia may lead to a AUD 12 billion (USD 11.2bn/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.