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Australia’s Climate Skeptic Government brings Large Renewable Energy to a Halt

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Australia like most of the Anglo Saxon countries such as the USA and Canada have been extremely reluctant to make meaningful contributions towards the fight against climate change. Despite the populations in these countries pushing their policymakers to move more strongly against the defining crisis of mankind, the politicians have not done really much. Austalia has one of the highest per capita emissions of GHG emissions in the world and is happily giving permits to mine and extract more and more fossil fuels from its land and seas. The country was recently facing a huge controversy for allowing the Indian Adani group to build a massive coal mine. The country has also said that it would not support renewable energy from 2020 as it has met its pitiful target of reducing emission intensity and will not support large scale renewables.

Solar Rooftop

As a consequence of its actions, Australian investment in large scale wind and solar energy fell by more than 40% in 2019 against the 1% rise in global investment in RE to more than USD 280 billion. The Australian government has a great case for going green given its rich wind and solar resources as well as its high energy prices. Rooftop solar has done extremely well in the country as homeowners have found it much more economical than the high prices of power charged by its oligopolistic power sector suppliers.

However, the almost negligible investment in the distribution and transmission infrastructure has meant that solar and wind developers face huge challenges in connecting their projects to the grid. They also face the problem of curtailment as not enough investment has been made into integrating renewable energy into the grid. One of the largest EPC players in Australia Downer has completely exited the sector due to the interminable delays faced in getting permissions and connectivity. This has led the company to face losses due to its fixed price contacts and has made its management abandon this sunrise sector due to an apathetic government attitude towards the entire RE sector.

The small scale and distributed solar energy sector which does not depend on government policy have continued to see exponential growth with almost 22% of all Australian households installing rooftop solar systems making it one of the highest penetrated countries in the world. The solar plus storage sector is also taking off strongly with companies like Tesla and Sonnen selling storage systems coupled with solar energy.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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