Victorian Budget 2017/18 – Energy

Energy - Victoria's 2017/18 budget

Where the bucks are going in 2017/18 for energy – Image: cogdogblog, CC0 (Public Domain)

More than $155 million has been earmarked over the 2017/18 period to go towards securing Victoria’s energy supplies.

$88.8 million will be invested in continuing the Government’s plan to modernise Victoria’s energy system. Included in this will be investments in battery storage and further development of the renewable energy sector, including trialing micro grids.

$12.9 million will spent on efforts to reform the National Energy Market (NEM) and $10.8 million will go towards assisting Victorians better manage their energy costs.

“We’re taking action on climate change and protecting our environment, for this generation and the next,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

“Victorians rightly expect a reliable, sustainable and affordable energy supply – and that’s exactly what we’re delivering.”

Additionally, $9.5 million will be spent on securing solar power for Melbourne’s tram network. In January, the Government announced it would run tender to help build 75MW of new large scale solar farms in regional Victoria, with 35MW of capacity linked to powering the city’s trams.

Melbourne has the largest tram network in the world and powering it with solar energy will result in a reduction of more than 80,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

The related tender is expected to be announced within the next couple of months, with view to the solar farms being constructed by the end of next year.

Gas also gets a guernsey in Budget 2017/18. $42.5 million will be spend on the Victorian Gas Supply Program, which will go towards identifying and assessing the potential for new discoveries of onshore conventional gas, offshore gas and underground gas storage.

A moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration remains in place in the state until June 30, 2020. The exploration and development of unconventional gas in Victoria, including coal seam gas and fracking, is permanently banned.

A Victorian Budget 17/18 overview can be downloaded here (PDF).

In related news, the application process opened on Monday for a project in western Victoria that will see the deployment of two large scale battery systems by January 2018. The systems are required to have 20 megawatts minimum capacity each and combined will provide at least a total of 100 MWh of storage.

“Energy storage will play a vital role in integrating renewable energy generation into the Victorian electricity network. It will help enhance system security, resilience and reliability, especially in peak demand periods,” states an FAQ (PDF) regarding the initiative.

Funding of up to $25 million is available for the project, with applications closing 13 June 2017. Further details are available here.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Great to see Victorians putting money towards renewables.

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