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“Rewiring the Nation” project to invest $20 billion

Gala sitting on electrical wire

Australia is undertaking a significant “Rewiring the Nation” project to invest $20 billion to transform its energy sector. Spearheaded by Chris Bowen, the initiative focuses on developing and constructing 10,000 kilometres of transmission lines by 2030. Bowen stresses the importance of obtaining social acceptance for this transition. To that end, New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria (VIC) governments offer landowners affected by the infrastructure projects generous incentives of $200,000 per kilometre. These measures aim to establish strong stakeholder relationships in the regulatory investment test process.

To meet its ambitious renewable energy targets, Australia requires roughly 29GW of large-scale renewables, equivalent to installing about 3.6GW annually. However, the country only added 2.3GW of large-scale solar and wind capacity in the previous year, and progress in developing essential transmission lines has been slow, posing a significant challenge to achieving these goals. AEMO‘s Chief Executive, Daniel Westerman, highlights that the curtailment of solar and wind generation is due to inadequate transmission capacity. Though renewable energy integration is at record highs, with an average of 37% and a peak of 66% in the grid during Q1, the closure of 14GW of coal-powered generation capacity by 2030 surpasses the 8GW of announced renewable projects.

The government plans to address these concerns by introducing a new Capacity scheme and examining potential extensions to existing infrastructure. In addition, as the VIC-NSW West Interconnector’s final drafts and Humelink’s approval are expected, the transition to new transmission systems is underway. There are still questions, however, over whether the government will be able to reach its renewable energy goals in the allotted time. Further updates will provide information on the advancement and difficulties encountered along the road as Australia works to attain its clean energy ambitions. Australia’s energy environment is continually changing.

This is a summary article from Edge2020 – read the original article.

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