AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CLEANTECH BITES GOVERNMENTS SOLAR
- Feb 17, 2020 7:56 pm GMT
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“We’re out”: Big contractor dramatically quits Australian solar sector, Giles Parkinson12 February 2020
One of the biggest contractors and constructors of large-scale solar farms in Australia, the listed constructing giant Downer Group, has signaled a dramatic exit from the solar business, saying it is too hard.
“We’re out of solar,” Downer CEO Grant Fenn told an analysts during a telephone briefing of the company’s half year earnings on Wednesday.
Fenn said the decision to withdraw from solar was disappointing, but inevitable given that the large-scale solar market had all but evaporated over the last 12 months.
“Developers, contractors and bankers all struggle to come to terms with the risk of large power loss factors, grid stability problems, connection problems, and equipment performance issues,” Fenn said..
“These problems will no doubt be sorted out in time, but right now we don’t see a construction market in the short to medium term that will accept our terms and risk position on these matters.
“So we’re out.”
The decision adds to, and highlights, the increasing woes of the Australian renewables industry, which is suffering from a dramatic slowdown in construction, partly due to the lack of federal policy, connection issues, and delays from grid congestion.
There is exasperation about the lack of planning and investment, and the perverse impact of market rules designed to favour incumbent fossil fuel businesses. After a three-year boom thanks to the renewable energy target, investment is drying up and the federal government is showing no interest in pursuing wind and solar projects, focusing only on coal and gas, and amid new calls for nuclear.
I am too dumfounded, greatly astonish, amaze, to understand the above announcement. If renewables are sooo great, why is the business sooo bad???