Victoria, Australia plans 40 percent renewable energy by 2025
The government of the south-eastern Australian state of Victoria announced today that it plans to nearly double the amount of its energy generated from renewable sources in the next four years.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and his Minister for Energy and Climate, Lily D’Ambrosio, revealed their new renewable energy targets — 25 per cent by 2020, and 40 per cent by 2025 — during a visit to the Ararat Wind Farm.
Victoria is the latest state to outdo the Turnbull government’s previous national target of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. At present, Victoria generates 14 percent of its electricity using renewables.
The state’s government predicts that their new targets will create 5,400MW of new renewable energy capacity, representing $2.5 billion in new investment. During the anticipated year of peak construction in 2024, around 4,000 jobs will have been created in the renewable energy sector.
In order to reach 25 percent renewable energy in four years’ time, 1,800MW of large-scale wind and solar projects will need to be installed.
D’Ambrosio said: “Investors have lost faith in the national target, but we are restoring the confidence needed to invest. We’ve developed Victorian renewable energy targets that generate thousands of new jobs, particularly in regional Victoria, while also cutting Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
Other Australian states, including South Australia and Queensland, have established more ambitious renewable energy targets — of 50 percent by 2025 and 2030, respectively. However, the former ostensibly reached its goal this year.
Regardless, D’Ambrosio claims that Victoria will be the first state to commit their targets to law. Legislation is expected to go before Parliament next year, with construction to begin in 2018.
There are growing tensions between country’s Labor and the Conservative Parties where renewable energy is concerned, with the Federal Coalition cutting national targets. As a result, there has been a three-year lull in investment, which Victoria is hoping to break.
Andrews said that renewable energy: “creates jobs, drives growth and protects our environment, and Victorians want to be at the forefront of that.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.