Mar 11, 2014

Policy uncertainty drives renewable energy investors overseas

Australia is missing out on hundreds of billions of dollars in renewable energy markets as investors are driven offshore by the policy uncertainty of the Abbott government.

Clean energy and low-carbon investors are abandoning Australia as the new federal government, and its conservative colleagues at state level, turn their interests and policies away from renewables and long-term carbon abatement incentives.

Several key players in the clean energy finance industry have told the Senate hearings into the proposed Direct Action policy that investors are looking to Europe, the United States and some South American countries to find low-carbon opportunities. Nathan Fabian, head of the Investor Group on Climate Change, said:

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19 thoughts on “Policy uncertainty drives renewable energy investors overseas

  1. Zeke

    “Australia is open for business”

    As long as that business is coal mining.

  2. Chris Hartwell

    tl;dr – insisting on Business As Usual is screwing up future economic prospects.

  3. Duncan Symons

    These so-called “investors” in RE are in reality carpet-baggers trawling the world for governments willing to divert large sums from the productive part of the economy to subsidise the unprofitable parts like theirs. No-one is stopping them from setting up businesses selling wind or solar power at their own expense.
    As for fossil fuel investments possibly being stranded one day, that’s the risk you take with any long-term investment. A new technology may come along and eat your lunch. If you are a coal powered generator, solar power might become competitive one day. If you are a print publisher, someone might invent the internet. That’s business.

  4. Mark Duffett

    …the hundreds of thousands of jobs being created in China, Germany and in America…


    A month ago, “the German government announced that the (solar) sector only employed 4,800 people at the end of the year, compared to 10,200 at the beginning of the previous year. In 2012, jobs in the renewable energy sector stagnated in Germany, mainly because so many jobs were cut in the solar industry.”

  5. Hamis Hill

    So, their capacity for rational thought poisoned by conservative media bias against “planet worshipping greenies”, voters picked a losing government, and this losing government, in turn, picked a losing industry.
    Picking losers?
    Not good for long term investment, despite all the recent pre-election rhetoric.

  6. Stuart Coyle

    Lets invest our money in what worked in the past, not what is going to work in the future. This is exactly the problem with the conservate mindset. In a world that now has technology moving faster that our aged politicians can understand they are destined to be a drag on the country advancing.

    Understand this, the internet is the future, real broadband. Renewable energy is the future. One invests for future reward not in the past. They seem to suffer from the sunk-cost fallacy at every turn.

  7. tonyfunnywalker

    Abbott pre the election said we will bring stability and certainty so that business can invest with confidence. Like so much else – hollow words from a hollow man and we like the fools that we are believed him.

  8. Ken Dally

    Abbott and the LNP are Stuck in a 20th century or earlier mindset and are actively chasing away the really big long term investment opportunities depriving the nation of money, people of jobs, and a place as a global leader in the 21st century and beyond.

  9. Scott

    Check out the ACT Clean Technology Index VS ASX200 returns over the last 7 years

    2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
    ACT Clean Tech 42.9% -16% -38.7% -32% -8.1% -30.3% -3.5%
    ASX200 25.4% -16.4% -25.8% 11.8% 4.2% -9.6% 17.3%

    If you invested in renewables over the last 7 years, you would be heavily underwater. Australian renewables are full of underperforming companies with rubbish management. That is the reason why no one wants to invest in Australian Green/sustainable industries.

    And if you are talking policy, remember, this has happened on Labor’s watch.

  10. AR

    Direct action is not an investment grade policy. & a short-term political manoeuvre …waayyy too kind. it ain’t nuttin of anything except a brain fart from a focus group of swinging voters with their collective double digit IQ.

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