Battery storage investment reaches record $2 billion

Big battery components for standby power (record)
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Australia’s battery age has arrived smashing investment records as storage projects break through the billion-dollar barrier during a single quarter for the first time.

New Clean Energy Council data shows $2 billion worth of storage and hybrid projects reached the investment stage in Q2.

The latest Renewable Projects Quarterly Report provides a detailed snapshot of Australia’s clean energy and storage investment pipeline.

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The report highlights:

  • Battery storage projects leading the way for financial commitments during Q2 2023, with six projects totalling 3802MWh added across Australia, breaking the billion-dollar barrier for the first time.
  • Construction activity remaining strong, as four generation projects commenced construction during the quarter, comprising an additional 1172MW of capacity, while five projects reached the commissioning stage, contributing a total of 551MW.
  • Despite stronger results than during the previous quarter, new financial commitments in generation projects have also observed the slowest first half of a year, since the Clean Energy Council began recording data in 2017. Four generation projects, totalling 348MW of generation capacity reached financial commitment.
  • New financial commitments in large-scale generation during Q2 totalled 348MW worth $225 million, more than $1 billion (-82.3%) less than the rolling quarterly average over the last 12 months, which fell to $1.3 billion.

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said that while an overall increase in investment activity during the quarter was encouraging, further action is required.

“While there is now strong political support for the clean energy transition, there remains a raft of barriers as a result of the historic lack of leadership, planning and foresight over the prior decade,” Thornton said.

“These challenges make final investment decisions for large scale renewables projects more difficult, and include under-investment in transmission, grid connection challenges, inconsistent planning policies, constraints in supply chains and workforce as Australia competes with global leaders that are all accelerating their demand for renewable energy.

“There is an enormous pipeline of renewable energy projects in Australia, but investors are swamped with global opportunity at a time where these barriers make Australian projects less attractive.

“The critical development needed to achieve 82% renewable generation by 2030 is not guaranteed unless we target the obstacles currently creating investment uncertainty for new energy generation.”

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A total of four generation projects, with 348MW reached financial commitment during the quarter, the largest among them being the Ardandra Storage and Solar Project in Queensland.

While this quarterly result was an improvement on Q1, when there were no large-scale generation projects committed, investment levels so far this year are 50% below the rolling 12-month quarterly average of 699MW and are a long way off the pace necessary for Australia to achieve an 82 per cent renewable energy share by 2030.

Looking further along the project pipeline, five generation and storage projects commenced construction in Q2. A total of nine projects reached the final commissioned stage in Q2, totalling $1.3 billion worth of investment.

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