A blistering start to the year sets Australia on track for a symbolic renewables milestone before the polling stations open in May – for the first time, it is batteries leading the charge.
Rystad Energy, the independent energy research and consulting firm headquartered in Norway with offices across the globe, forecasts that Australia’s renewable energy pipeline will reach 100 gigawatts (GWAC) before the federal election in two months’ time.
In January and February 6.65 GWAC of new capacity from 62 assets were added to Rystad Energy’s database. This is more than double the capacity and number of assets that were added in the same period last year.
“This clearly shows the confidence investors have in Australia’s renewable future and possibly where the renewables sector sees the election outcome going,” says Senior Analyst David Dixon.
These projects added an additional 2.9 GWAC of solar (up 7% on the solar pipeline), 1.4 GWAC of wind (up 4% on the wind pipeline) and 2.4 GWAC of storage (up 25% on the storage pipeline), bringing the total pipeline to 96 GW, according to Rystad Energy RenewableCube.
Also of significance is the storage pipeline grew by 2.4 GW in January and February – just under half the total capacity added last year - compared to a total of 5.6 GW for the entire year of 2018.
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“This is unprecedented. Half of 2018’s total storage capacity was added in just 2 months, increasing our total storage capacity in the pipeline by 25% on the 2018 (yearend) level. We believe this is an indication of how attractive the long term growth is for renewables in Australia,” Dixon added.
Solar or wind plus storage projects have become the norm in Australia. 16 battery storage added were part of a hybrid development project. This amounted to 1.68 GWAC of battery additions to the Rystad Energy database, an increase of 36% to the total battery pipeline. 490 MWAC of pumped hydro also entered the pipeline in January/February this year – an 8% increase on the pumped hydro pipeline.
The most notable storage additions were the 500 MWAC battery associated with the Sunshine Energy Project, the 400 MWAC battery associated with the Desailly Renewable Energy Park, and the 250 MWAC battery associated with Robertstown solar farm.
Senior Analyst, APAC Renewables
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About Rystad Energy
Rystad Energy is an independent energy research and business intelligence company providing data, tools, analytics and consultancy services to the global energy industry. Our products and services cover energy fundamentals and the global and regional upstream, oilfield services and renewable energy industries, tailored to analysts, managers and executives alike. Rystad Energy’s headquarters are located in Oslo, Norway with offices in London, New York, Houston, Stavanger, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Bangalore, Tokyo, Sydney and Dubai.