The head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Ian Learmonth, expects a “raft” of battery storage deals, but says role of CEFC in new gas generation is “debatable”.
In an interview of RenewEconomy’s Energy Insiders podcast, Learmonth noted the CEFC’s role in providing finance for the expansion of the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia and said there are “some other” battery projects in its pipeline” which could be announced soon.
“I think there will be a raft of big battery deals,” Learmonth says.
However, he was less enthusiastic about the CEFC’s role in supporting new gas fired generators, as the federal government appears keen to have it do via the new Grid Reliability Fund, and a change of mandate that is yet to get through parliament.
“In terms of gas fired power stations, is there a role for the CEFC in that regard? I mean, I think that’s probably debatable.” Learmonth says.
“If there was a large renewables project that wanted to do some, to firm up some of its energy with you know, a couple of peakers, that might be more in our, in our space.
“Where it might lead to a great build out of renewables or make …projects viable where they, they wouldn’t previously be built, I mean, again, it’s interesting because we … have a guideline for low emissions technologies, which is currently published on our website that says that we wouldn’t invest in technologies with exclusively of generation of less than, less than 50% of the emissions of the NEM.
So that’s, that’s our current board guideline. Now, that’s, you know, up for debate, amendment discussion, and so on. So we’ll just have to see what crops up down the track.”
Learmonth also talks about the CEFC impairment of its investments in its large portfolio of solar farms, due to delays in connections and grid congestions problems.
And you can find previous editions of the Energy Insiders Podcast here, or on your favourite podcast platform.