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Green Globe: Australia tosses out 42% renewable energy target, subsidies

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Essential Energy Insights - February 2021

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Six trends shaping the industries and sectors we cover in 2021

Six trends shaping the industries and sectors we cover in 2021


Green Globe: Australia tosses out 42% renewable energy target, subsidies

Australia's government nixed a plan to generate 42% of the country's power from wind and solar energy by 2030 and has tossed out subsidies for renewable energy projects.

Instead of a clean energy mandate, power companies will need to generate a specific amount of electricity from coal, gas and hydroelectric, the Associated Press reports. Coal and gas will generate between 64% and 72% of the country's electricity by 2030, while solar and wind generation would be limited based on each state's needs.

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Australia is still expected to meet its current clean energy target of 23.5% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Source: Associated Press

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Liberal Party government said the move will cut consumers' energy costs. It has also claimed that heavy reliance on wind and solar energy caused a blackout in South Australia, echoing U.S. President Donald Trump's administration's view on grid resilience.

Australia Chief Scientist Alan Finkel suggested the renewable energy target in a 210-page report on the country's electricity market and grid reliability. He expressed concerns over the combination of poorly-integrated renewable energy generators and the number of unexpected coal and gas-fired plant retirements. Finkel's other recommendations, including an emissions reduction trajectory and a requirement for all large generators to give at least three years' notice before closing, were accepted.

Finland-based Fortum signed a deal with NBCC India, a government infrastructure developer in India, to build charging stations for electric vehicles.

According to CleanTechnica, Fortum has set up a 22-kW charging station at NBCC to test electric vehicles later this year. The companies plan to build more than 150 charging stations between now and 2019. India's government recently announced that it will order 10,000 electric cars through a public tender as part of the country's push for renewable energy and lower emissions.

US renewables firm Invenergy LLC is seeking $700 million in damages from Poland over a "coordinated conspiracy" to damage some of the company's investments in Polish wind farms. The company said it submitted a letter to the Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Beata Szydlo that accuses the government of unlawfully terminating long-term commercial contracts and dropping renewable energy prices to unsustainable levels.

In July, Invenergy sued state-controlled energy entity Tauron for $325 million in damages for unlawfully terminating agreements to buy wind power from its Polish projects. In another case, the Polish Supreme Court ruled in favor of Invenergy in its suit against another state utility over attempts to prematurely end its contract with the company.

Elsewhere

The world's first floating wind farm is now generating electricity for Scotland, according to the BBC.

Iran's Amin Energy has signed a deal with Norway-based solar developer Saga Energy for $2.94 billion to build up to 2 GW of solar photovoltaic projects in Iran, pv magazine reports.

Engie will acquire Uganda-based solar home systems company Fenix, which will expand the French utility's presence in Africa.

British Petroleum CEO Bob Dudley said its renewables are "coming of age" but it will take some time before its clean energy projects improve its profits, according to CNBC.

Italy's Enel SpA is looking make energy storage acquisitions in the U.S., Europe and Latin America, Bloomberg reports.