The Victorian Government has released its Renewable Energy Action Plan, backed by $146 million in funding, which sets out how Victoria will use large-scale renewable energy technology to provide affordable clean energy and grid stability.
Actions under the Plan include:
$48.1 million to underpin implementation of the Renewable Certificates Purchasing Initiative. The Government will purchase renewable energy certificates from two new Victorian windfarms at Kiata near Horsham and Mount Gellibrand near Colac with a total generation capacity of around 100 MW, and a second round of renewable certificate purchasing, which will bring forward up to 75 MW of large-scale solar, of which 35 MW will be used to power all of Melbourne’s 410 trams.
$25 million to deploy grid-scale battery storage facilities in the west of Victoria by next summer, providing storage capacity of at least 100 MWh;
$15.8 million for smart software system, solar and battery storage microgrid initiatives.
$7.82 million to update the Victorian Energy Compare website and improve awareness of the services;
$.5.36 million to establish the Centre for New Energy Technologies (C4NET) as an innovative platform bringing together industry, universities, communities and government to build the policies, technologies, workforce capabilities, and tools needed to understand the changes underway in the sector;
$2 million towards the development of waste-to-energy facilities in Victoria;
$1.8 million to conduct a concept study for a new energy data platform to gather, intersect and leverage real time smart weather data;
co-sponsor a $1 million digital platform trial, piloted in the Mornington Peninsula, that will allow electricity distribution businesses, distributed generators and third parties to engage in open trading of various energy products and services to overcome grid constraints and support the integration of renewable energy sources into the network; and
$100,000 towards a $150,000 pre-feasibility study of solar pumped hydro using groundwater in Bendigo.
In its long-term plan for renewable energy, Victorian Government aims to increase renewable energy generation to 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025, including 20 per cent for large-scale solar power.
Other initiatives contributing to the plan include:
The Victorian Renewable Energy Advocate (https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/vrea) was established in December last year to help industry and communities navigate regulatory requirements, promote Victoria as a place to invest in renewable energy, and provide advice to government on improving renewable energy development in Victoria;
A New Energy Technologies Sector Strategy, released in March 2016 as part of the Government’s Future Industries Initiative, and supported by the $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund (NEJF) which will fund new energy technology projects;
The forthcoming Energy Efficiency and Productivity Strategy, developed from the June 2015 Energy Efficiency and Productivity Statement and backed by $53 million, will drive Victoria’s transition to an energy efficient economy. The actions it contains are targeted to cut emissions by more than 34 megatonnes by 2030; and
In July 2016, Victoria became the first government in Australia to issue Green Bonds (http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Victorias-Economy/Green-Bonds), raising $300 million to finance a range of new and existing projects that deliver environmental benefits. More than $60 million of this has financed energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Victoria’s Climate Change Act 2017 establishes a target for Victoria to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.