There is a particular opportunity in Australia for the energy sector.
The global trend towards renewable and alternative energy, aligned with local appetite for a better energy mix, is providing a ripe environment for project development and investment.
According to our own research, Australia is an attractive destination for investment in the energy sector – this is compared to countries like Germany, which has an established and long standing renewable energy policy.
Australia is unique in a number of respects. While we are rich in resources and opportunities for energy generation, our population density is concentrated in small pockets along the coast and our energy infrastructure has further to travel to service those communities. Energy regulation is state-based – with a mix of private, public and private/public ownership of the energy value chain. As a country we’re still predominantly dependent on coal-fire, but we’re seeing the shift towards sustainable alternatives and this is where we’re seeing opportunity for mid-sized businesses in the sector.
There is an estimated 10.4GW of new solar and wind power to be brought online in 2018 and 2019 – that’s enough power to run around 1.5m family homes for a year (based on a two parent, two child family).
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Not only are we on track to meet our Renewable Energy Target for 33,000GWh by 2020, but we’re also on track to reach 50% renewable energy by 2025. Other factors supporting growth in the sector are falling costs, rising electricity demand and the retirement of the existing coal plants.
Here is a short introduction to our three recommendations to help boost the Energy sector:
Funding the pipeline
The pipeline of renewable energy projects in Australia is at unprecedented levels and despite the attractiveness of Australia as an investment destination, some of the projects in the pipeline are under threat. Aging infrastructure, access to finance and creditworthy off-takers of electricity are all barriers to enabling a sustainable and reliable energy mix in the future.
The Federal Government sets the tone for energy policy, but it is enacted at a State level. The better alignment would not only create consistency in the kinds of projects that are built and invested in, but also consistency in reliability, cost and customer experience.
The energy network we will have in the future will be very different to the one we had a decade ago – and yet the infrastructure that we use to distribute our energy is already 40 – 50 years old and designed to carry the regular energy loads from coal fire.