CANBERRA: Australia ranking among investors in large scale renewable energy plummeted in 2014, dropping behind much poorer nations such as Panama, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, as confidence in the Abbott government’s policies for the sector evaporated, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Investments in large-scale wind, solar and other clean energy sources dived 88 per cent in 2014 to $240 million, the lowest level since 2002, the energy consultancy said.
Australia’s global ranking sank 28 places from 11th with almost $2 billion invested in 2013 to just 39th last year.We recorded zero investment in the wind sector,” said Kobad Bhavnagri, lead analyst for BNEF in Sydney. Six of the seven largest projects were in solar power and involved support from government grants or the Clean Energy Finance Corp.
A breakdown in bipartisan support for the Renewable Energy Target was central to investment all but halting, Mr Bhavnagri said.
The Abbott government has sought to cut the target from the current goal of 41 terawatt-hours annually by 2020 to 27 terawatt-hours but has been blocked by Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party in the Senate.