Australia directs Clean Energy Finance to limit funding renewable power projects

13 July 2015 (Last Updated July 13th, 2015 18:30)

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbot has issued orders for the A$10bn ($7.5bn) Clean Energy Finance (CEFC) to discontinue investments in wind power projects and roof-top solar panels.

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbot has issued orders for the A$10bn ($7.5bn) Clean Energy Finance (CEFC) to discontinue investments in wind power projects and roof-top solar panels.

Abbot said: "It is our policy to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation because we think that if the projects stack up economically, there’s no reason why they can’t be supported in the usual way.

"But while the CEFC exists, what we believe it should be doing is investing in new and emerging technologies, certainly not existing wind farms."

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann had sent a letter to CEFC instructing it to change its investment decisions and suggesting to shift focus towards new technologies.

"Wind power investments comprised nearly 25% of the fund’s investment portfolio as of last year."

According to the Australian Solar Council, the move is bound to limit industry growth in the country.

The draft mandate is, however, not likely to affect CEFC’s said existing investments and co-financing programmes.

CEFC said: "These and the CEFC’s investment activities, including development of new investment opportunities continues as previously, in line with the CEFC’s purpose and responsibilities."

Wind power investments comprised nearly 25% of the fund’s investment portfolio as of last year.

CEFC is presently taking advice regarding the draft Mandate and is likely to revert back to the Australian ministers in due course.

According to US General Electric, Australia’s new renewable energy target, which was announced in June, aims at investments of more than A$10bn for new green energy developments.

The country looks forward to generate 33,000GWh of power from large-scale renewable energy projects by 2020, reports Bloomberg.