by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Australia’s investment in renewable energy all but dried up in the first half of 2014 amid uncertainty fuelled by the government’s latest review of the mandatory target, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
In the six months to June, just $40 million was invested in large-scale renewable energy, such as wind farms, the lowest level since the first half of 2001, according to Kobad Bhavnagri, head of BNEF’s Australian unit.
The investment tally compared with $2.691 billion in 2013, the second largest annual inflow of funds to the clean energy sector behind the peak year of 2010.
In February, the government appointed a panel to review the aim of generating 41,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy by 2020.
If my math is correct, 41,000 Gwh would be approximately one-sixth of the electricity currently consumed in Australia (this site pegs it at 225.4 billion kwh). Until this year, Australia was paying between $1 billion to up $3 billion annually just chasing that goal. No wonder there’s a pullback to question the wisdom of it.