Australian government launches online clean energy map
The Australian government has launched an online clean energy map that features more than 1,200 projects on renewables, energy efficiency and emissions reductions. The government says these are helping the the economy by reducing energy costs, investing in innovative new technologies and creating new jobs.
The map can be searched by postcode or technology, and includes projects being carried out under measures such as the Renewable Energy Target, Solar Cities, Energy Efficiency Information Grants, the Carbon Farming Initiative and the Clean Technology Programs.
Goldman makes largest investment in solar leasing
Goldman Sachs has announced it will invest more than $500 million in rooftop solar installed to be installed by SolarCity, the rooftop solar leasing specialist chaired by billionaire cleantech, electric car and space travel entrepreneur Elon Musk. The investment by Goldman Sachs, which follows similar interest in rooftop solar leasing by US Bancorp and Credit Suisse, is the largest lease-financing deal signed so far. SolarCity said it will finance around 110MW of rooftop solar systems which can be installed for no or little upfront cost for homeowners and businesses.
SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive told Bloomberg in an interview that he hoped the deal would send a signal that solar was a stable and reliable asset to invest in. “These aren’t luxury yachts we’re talking about, it’s your energy, and the default rates are lower than mortgages.” Goldman Sachs has a goal of financing $40 billion in renewable energy during the next decade. Banks such as Goldman Sachs get a 30 per cent federal tax credit on every solar system leased.
Meridian to float
Meridian Energy, the largest electricity utility in New Zealand and joint owner of Australia’s largest wind farm, Macarthur, is to be floated. The announcement was made in the New Zealand budget delivered by Finance Minister Bill English on Thursday. The government will offer up to 49 per cent of the power company and it will likely be the biggest initial public offering in the country. It follows the recent sale of nearly half of Mighty Power River, which raised $1.4 billion
Bloomberg said power company valuations in New Zealand have been affected by uncertainty over industry structure after opposition parties last month said they’d create a state agency to buy wholesale electricity at a regulated price if they successfully form a government after an election due next year. There is also concern that Rio Tinto may close the country’s only aluminium smelter, which uses about 13 per cent of the national power output. That would reduce demand and prices. Meridian operates seven South Island hydro power stations and it also has four wind farms.