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KPMG: Australia needs to move forward with renewable energy

30th May 2012

Australia needs to pull up its socks when it comes to renewable energy innovation - especially with an expected increase in investment in solar and other green technologies on the horizon.

This is according to the new KPMG Green Power 2012 survey, which showed that the majority of respondents expect "robust" renewable energy investment over the next five years.

70 per cent private equity and infrastructure investment funds surveyed in the report said they were particularly interested in solar photovoltaic, hydro and windpower developments.

This, the study revealed, is because these investment areas are generally viewed as "safe-havens" when it comes to long-term spending.

But while sun-drenched Australia seems like a natural fit for an increased interest in renewable investment - especially solar panels - the latest survey could be a wake-up call for industry to keep pace with new developments.

"The message is clear," said Mathew Herring, KPMG Australia's national leader of renewable. "The industry needs to develop quickly so we can become a leader throughout Asia and globally."

According to Herring, the key to Australia's renewable energy success will lie in the state and federal regulatory framework surrounding solar power and other renewable technologies.

He explained: "Although Australia's renewable  energy policies have become more supportive of the industry in recent years, like the bi-partisan support of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, there is still uncertainty about state-based policies, which does little to fuel investor confidence."

Work needs to be carried out to ensure that Australia - which is currently highly-regarded thanks to its relatively strong economy - remains an attractive investment destination for those who are interested in renewables.

Herring asserted that a mix of infrastructure improvements, better collaboration with the resources sector and smarter, more progressive policies will be crucial to ensuring the long-term success of the Australian renewable energy market.

It's likely that a significant number of new renewable energy investors will hail from Asia -with Chinese investors in particular eyeing the Aussie renewnables market - and five of the top ten countries most closely associated with renewable energy investment hailing from this region.

The United States, India and China are tipped to be among the most popular places for renewable energy investment to be targeted in the months and years ahead - but as these countries also have strong ties to Australia, there's no reason why our solar sector can't benefit as well, said Herring.

That's a statement I can certainly get behind!

Posted by Mike Peacock

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