Renewables set to outspend E&P in APAC
Renewables energy investment in Asia excluding China will overtake spending on upstream oil and gas projects in the region as early as next year. Total capital expenditure (capex) in renewables will overtake exploration and production (E&P) spending in 2020, with contributions from Australia and other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Taiwan and South Korea. In Australia, the renewable energy project pipeline is approximately double the currently operating assets in the national electricity market. The growth in India’s renewables presents significant scale and is one to watch, while Vietnam has been experiencing a boom in utility PV thanks to favorable feed-in tariffs. The dark horse is Indonesia. By 2025, electricity demand is expected to triple from 2017 levels, yet the country is yet to develop utility PV or wind on the scale seen by neighboring Australia and Vietnam.
Utility Scale Vanadium Batteries enter RenewableCube
The Pangea Storage Project consisting of a 50 MW solar farm and 100 MW/200 MWh Vanadium Redox Battery in Port Augusta is the first Vanadium Battery to enter Rystad Energy's RenewableCube. Whilst Rystad's RenewableCube tracks many forms of storage, it is clear pumped hydro and lithium batteries are the storage technologies of choice at present. In 2019 alone, 3.3 GWAC of lithium batteries and 2.8 GWAC entered the RenewableCube.
Relief in Queensland as controversial new rule reversed within weeks
As of 13 May 2019, mounting, locating, fixing and removal of solar panels at solar farms can only be undertaken by licensed electricians in Queensland. These rules apply to all solar farms with a rated capacity over 100 kW, hence also impacting the commercial and industrial (C&I) space. The new rules were anticipated to create a slowdown for sanctioning of utility PV farms as developers re-evaluated the economics of their projects. Yet the rule was repealed by the supreme court on Wednesday (29/05), following efforts from several industry players and the Clean Energy Council. This is good news for Queensland, which risked stalling a large utility pipeline which currently has over 15GW of utility PV awaiting development.
Epuron enters Tasmanian wind sector
The addition of the Western Plains, St Patrick's Plains, Hellyer and Guildford to Rystad’s RenewableCube have pushed Epuron Australia to become Tasmania's second largest wind developer, trailing behind UPC Renewables Australia Pty Ltd by only a few MWs. These are Epuron's first wind projects in Tasmania.
Vietnam sees first projects with trackers commissioned
As Vietnam continues to commission PV projects, the country also sees some projects with solar tracking being commissioned despite land restrictions. These are part of the Trung Nam project with 49 MWAC on trackers and the 15 MWAC Mo Duc project. However, tracking systems usage still only accounts for a very minor share of the current project pipeline in the country.
India’s heavy-handed push for home-grown equipment may curtail solar growth
The Indian government has introduced solar import duties in a desperate play to encourage local manufacturing and curtail a deluge of imports from China and other Southeast Asian manufacturers. The main hiccup is that the safeguard duty is set to be in place for only two to four years – far below the solar manufacturing industry payback period, which requires high upfront capex. Given the short duration of the safeguard duty, Indian companies are reluctant to establish new manufacturing facilities or expand existing ones.