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Rystad Energy: 2020 will be a record year for Australian renewable energy development

January 23, 2020

PV Magazine:

Despite a massive drop in renewable energy investment seen last year, Australia’s renewable energy sector is forecast to have another record year in 2020. According to consultancy Rystad Energy, large-scale PV projects will be the largest source of new capacity additions this year, totaling 1.96 GW.

Four large-scale PV projects, each with a capacity of 200 MW or more, are set to complete commissioning this year: Darlington Point (275 MW), Limondale (249 MW), Kiamal Stage 1 (200 MW) and Sunraysia (200 MW). The capacity to come online is geographically concentrated in New South Wales, with 51.5% – or 1.01 GW – scheduled to start operation in the state, Rystad finds.

Overall, 3.6 GW of renewable energy capacity is expected to complete commissioning, up from 2.6 GW in 2019. Wind development will account for 1.57 GW, while 0.1 GW will come from batteries. It is also likely that new markets will begin to open up as pilot hydrogen projects come online and the off-grid sector takes off, led by the mining and oil & gas industries, Rystad finds.

 “The Australian renewables sector has been through a bit of a quiet spell as few new projects have broken ground in recent months, but we expect the industry to bounce back in the second half of 2020,” says Gero Farruggio, Head of Australia at Rystad Energy. “Projects with power purchase agreements (PPAs) and winners of government auction schemes and grants are scheduled to enter the construction phase, developers will be shifting to more favorable parts of the grid in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and projects are lining up in central and northern New South Wales to replace the coal-fired Liddell power plant that is due to close by April 2023.”

Rystad Energy expects between 1.0 GW and 1.5 GW of new utility PV projects will break ground in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) in 2020. These projects will be located in southeast Queensland, central and northern New South Wales and central/eastern Victoria. For utility wind, there are currently projects representing 7.9 GW that have received development approval. This includes about 5.3 GW of projects larger than 350 MW and located in favorable parts of the grid with owners that have development experience, Rystad says.

[Marija Maisch]

More: Australia poised for record large-scale PV rollout in 2020

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