Australia seeks record 10GW of wind and solar in bid to meet ambitious renewable target

147

Australia’s federal government announced a massive plan to procure 10 gigawatts (GW) of new wind and solar energy capacity this year, along with 3 GW of dispatchable power, like long-duration storage, to achieve its ambitious target of 82% renewable energy by 2030.

This initiative, outlined in the expanded Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS), marks the largest clean energy tender program ever held in Australia. It comes as the country acknowledges lagging behind its renewable goals, particularly in the crucial New South Wales (NSW) grid.

The plan involves conducting tenders every six months, with the first 6 GW of wind and solar capacity up for grabs in the next quarter, followed by another 4 GW in the latter half of 2024. These projects are expected to be operational by 2030.

The scheme prioritizes projects not already under construction and aims to attract $52 billion in investments for renewables and $15 billion for dispatchable capacity. However, some key aspects like the requirement for large batteries to be available during grid emergencies and limited eligibility for longer-duration storage like pumped hydro have sparked discussions.

Despite these concerns, the initiative is a significant step towards Australia’s clean energy future and is expected to create thousands of jobs and significantly reduce carbon emissions.