Australia offers a good example of what happens to green energy investment under a political regime that is hostile to renewables. Australia had doubled its renewable energy capacity between 2001 and 2012. Under the leadership of Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard Australia was working towards a low carbon future. Then the government of Tony Abbott came to power in September 2013. He vowed to kill Australia’s green dream and as a result investment in renewable energy began to fall. Uncertainty surrounding the country’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) continues to drive investors away at an ever accelerating pace. A new analysis reveals that since March 31, 2014 new investment in Australian renewables have plummeted by 90 percent.
These are the findings in an analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). As pointed out by Bloomberg companies are concerned are overlooking Australia and putting their investment capital elsewhere. Bloomberg business says that a host of companies including Vestas Wind Systems and Acciona SA as companies
We’re going backward if you compare us to quite a wide range of countries,” Andrew Thomson, managing director of Acciona Energy in Australia, said by phone to Bloomberg. “For companies operating in Australia, many would be saying, it’s getting extremely difficult here, why don’t we take a look at the broader region, Southeast Asia for example.”
Those abandoning Australia include the world’s biggest renewable energy financier Banco Santander which has sold 90 percent of its interests in Taralga wind farm. The move, “is testimony to the changing fortunes of the Australian renewable energy sector, which has effectively ground to a halt in the 18 months since the election of the Abbott government,” explained Giles Parkinson of RenewEconomy.
The deluge of renewable finance abandoning Australia is also having an adverse impact on employment. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the country lost 2,300 jobs in the renewable energy industry in over the past two years since Tony Abbott was elected. This represents a decline of 15 percent.
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