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Overcoming barriers to wind project finance in Australia


  • Kann, Shayle


The wind power industry in Australia is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade, primarily due to a forthcoming expanded national renewable energy target (RET) which will mandate that renewable sources provide approximately 20% of Australia's electricity production by 2020. However, development of new wind generation in Australia has stalled as a result of several barriers to project finance, the mechanism through which most wind farms have been developed historically. This paper provides an overview of wind power financing in Australia in light of recent political and financial trends. Drawing upon existing literature and a series of stakeholder interviews, it identifies three primary barriers to project finance: regulatory risk surrounding legislation of the RET, semi-privatization of electricity retailers in New South Wales, and limited capital availability resulting from the recent global credit crisis. The paper concludes that the confluence of these barriers limits the availability of long-term contracts that provide revenue certainty for pre-construction wind projects, while simultaneously making these contracts a necessity in order to obtain project finance. In an attempt to mitigate these effects, this paper identifies four alternative development strategies that can be pursued.

Suggested Citation

  • Kann, Shayle, 2009. "Overcoming barriers to wind project finance in Australia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3139-3148, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:8:p:3139-3148

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. MacGill, Iain, 2010. "Electricity market design for facilitating the integration of wind energy: Experience and prospects with the Australian National Electricity Market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3180-3191, July.
    2. Katsigiannis, Yiannis A. & Stavrakakis, George S., 2014. "Estimation of wind energy production in various sites in Australia for different wind turbine classes: A comparative technical and economic assessment," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 230-236.
    3. Scholtens, Bert & Veldhuis, Rineke, 2015. "How does the development of the financial industry advance renewable energy? A panel regression study of 198 countries over three decades," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113114, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Höfer, Tim & Sunak, Yasin & Siddique, Hafiz & Madlener, Reinhard, 2016. "Wind farm siting using a spatial Analytic Hierarchy Process approach: A case study of the Städteregion Aachen," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 222-243.
    5. A. Garcia-Bernabeu & F. Mayor-Vitoria & F. Mas-Verdu, 2015. "Project Finance Recent Applications and Future Trends: The State of the Art," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 14(2), pages 159-178, December.
    6. Sophia Rüster, 2015. "Financing LNG Projects and the Role of Long-Term Sales-and-Purchase Agreements," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1441, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Effendi, Pranoto & Courvisanos, Jerry, 2012. "Political aspects of innovation: Examining renewable energy in Australia," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 245-252.
    8. Hall, N. & Ashworth, P. & Devine-Wright, P., 2013. "Societal acceptance of wind farms: Analysis of four common themes across Australian case studies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 200-208.
    9. Christoph Heinzel & Thomas Winkler, 2011. "Economic functioning and politically pragmatic justification of tradable green certificates in Poland," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 13(2), pages 157-175, June.
    10. Umamaheswaran, Swarnalakshmi & Rajiv, Seth, 2015. "Financing large scale wind and solar projects—A review of emerging experiences in the Indian context," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 166-177.
    11. repec:eee:rensus:v:75:y:2017:i:c:p:490-503 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Fagiani, Riccardo & Barquín, Julián & Hakvoort, Rudi, 2013. "Risk-based assessment of the cost-efficiency and the effectivity of renewable energy support schemes: Certificate markets versus feed-in tariffs," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 648-661.
    13. Valentine, Scott, 2010. "Braking wind in Australia: A critical evaluation of the renewable energy target," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3668-3675, July.
    14. Corsatea, Teodora Diana & Giaccaria, Sergio & Arántegui, Roberto Lacal, 2014. "The role of sources of finance on the development of wind technology," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 140-149.
    15. Saidur, R. & Islam, M.R. & Rahim, N.A. & Solangi, K.H., 2010. "A review on global wind energy policy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(7), pages 1744-1762, September.
    16. Schinko, Thomas & Komendantova, Nadejda, 2016. "De-risking investment into concentrated solar power in North Africa: Impacts on the costs of electricity generation," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 262-272.
    17. Shrimali, Gireesh & Nelson, David & Goel, Shobhit & Konda, Charith & Kumar, Raj, 2013. "Renewable deployment in India: Financing costs and implications for policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 28-43.
    18. MakajiÄ NikoliÄ, Dragana & Jednak, Sandra & BenkoviÄ, SlaÄana & PoznaniÄ, Vladimir, 2011. "Project finance risk evaluation of the Electric power industry of Serbia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6168-6177, October.


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