Aussies fear clean power plant “bottleneck”

An Australian trade body is warning there could be a “bottleneck” in power plants down under. In an echo of Britain’s current woes, the Energy Supply Association of Australia (esaa) […]

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By Vicky Ellis

An Australian trade body is warning there could be a “bottleneck” in power plants down under. In an echo of Britain’s current woes, the Energy Supply Association of Australia (esaa) suggests policy uncertainty is causing an investment gridlock.

Australia has around 200 new projects in the pipeline as part of a multi-billion dollar transformation of the electricity sector by 2030 which could all be affected, says esaa, which represents 38 major energy businesses across the country with assets worth around $120 billion.

Most of these new planned projects are lower greenhouse gas emitting forms of energy, especially gas, wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass.

However the latest report from esaa Electricity Gas Australia 2012 suggests only a handful are under construction and many may never be built.

Matthew Warren, esaa Chief Executive said: “Continued uncertainty over energy policy at both the national and jurisdictional levels is clearly undermining investor confidence. So while the list of proposed projects continues to grow, we’re not seeing that converted into faster delivery of new capacity.”

The Australian Federal Government’s draft Energy White Paper estimated that up to $240 billion of new investment in electricity and gas infrastructure will be needed to deliver Australia’s clean energy future.