The campaign to turn Australia’s outdated coal-fired power facilities into sustainable energy production centers is gaining steam. Over the next 12 months, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.’s green investment unit as well as AGL Energy Ltd. will undertake a feasibility study on repurposing two plants in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley region, with the goal of producing 30,000 tons of hydrogen per year utilizing renewable energy sources.
The Liddell plant, which is set to close in the year 2023, and Bayswater, which is set to run until the middle of the coming decade, are the two locations targeted. They contribute over 40% of the state’s carbon dioxide emissions when combined.
In a statement, AGL’s chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said, “Bayswater and Liddell benefit from distinctive energy infrastructure, positioned with excellent grid connectivity, extensive transport linkages, workshops, and closeness to water supply and industrial activity.” AGL announced plans to build a lithium-ion battery array at the Liddell facility by the year 2024 last year.
Engie SA and Macquarie Group Ltd.’s Green Investment Group aim to turn Hazelwood coal mine and power station in Victoria state, which was once the site of a 45-day fire, into a battery center that will store renewable energy. Coal still accounts for roughly 60% of Australia’s electricity output, although the fleet is now being scrapped out, with most units closing by 2050.
Andrew Forrest, the founder and chairman of Fortescue, wants to turn the world’s fourth-largest iron ore exporter into a green power powerhouse over the coming decade and is scouring the globe for hydrogen and renewable energy investment opportunities.
There is a Renewable Energy Target (RET) in Australia. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) is a Federal Government policy aimed at ensuring that renewable energy accounts for a minimum of 33,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of the Australia’s electricity by 2020.
There are two primary schemes in the RET:
The LRET (Large-scale Renewable Energy Target) mandates that high-energy consumers obtain a certain percentage of their electricity from the renewable sources. Large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) are manufactured by the large renewable energy power plants (like solar or even wind farms) and afterward sold to the high-energy consumers who must surrender them to complete their LRET obligations.
Individuals and businesses can get a financial incentive to construct small-scale renewable energy systems including solar water heaters, rooftop solar, and heat pumps through the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). Small-scale technology certificates (STCs) are awarded in advance for a system’s predicted power generation (depending on the system’s installation date and geographic location) until the SRES expires in 2030. Large energy consumers, like the LRET, are required to buy a set number of STCs then surrender them to fulfill their RET responsibilities.