Australia trips clean energy growth with ban on rooftop solar, wind projects


Australia has choked investment in rooftop solar and wind farms.

The country’s government has directed Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), the national renewable energy investment agency, not to invest in wind farms or small-scale solar projects.

Reports suggest the move could cripple the industry and further diminish Australia’s chances of transitioning to a clean energy economy.

Wind and small-scale solar projects formed significant portions of the portfolio of CEFC, a public fund which has invested more than $3 billion in clean energy projects and technologies. Last year, more than 50 percent of projects funded by CEFC were wind and small-scale solar projects.

The fund also invests in efficiency projects, such as energy monitoring systems, industrial improvements, and refrigeration technology.

The new ban would leave CEFC to invest only in other options such as bioenergy and ocean power.

CEFC has declared on its website that it was going to seek advice on how it should respond to the government directive.

Australia had witnessed a 70 percent decline in clean energy projects from 2013 to 2014, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) found.

Last July, Australia became the first country to repeal its carbon price, despite the fact that it was successfully working to cut carbon emissions.

And in May, the country slashed its renewable energy goal for 2020 by nearly a quarter — from 41,000 to 33,000 gigawatt hours.

Ajith Kumar S

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