Royalla Solar Farm developer FRV to quit Australia if RET Review recommendations implemented

The global solar developer behind Australia’s largest solar farm has warned that it would up cease doing business in this country if the Abbott government implemented the recommendations of the RET Review.

Rafael Benjumea, the CEO of Spanish developer FRV, which built the newly opened 20MW Royalla solar farm in the ACT, said that FRV’s pipeline of projects in Australia would be rendered worthless by changes to the Renewable Energy Target recommended by the panel headed up by Dick Warburton.

In an interview with RenewEconomy, Benjumea said that the RET review – and the extreme views against renewables – had already affected Australia as an investment destination.

“Investors in such a capital intensive industry as ours fear uncertainty and this review, unlike past reviews, has meant that Australia is far less attractive as an investment destination,” Benjumea said.

“We are surprised at the extreme views that have emerged within Australia in areas such as renewable energy and we hope that a sensible outcome will be found from the current review of the Target that will encourage continued deployment of renewable energy.”

Benjumea also warned that Australia’s generation mix had to evolve.

“With solar already cheaper than new coal generation, Australia cannot rely on coal to deliver competitive electricity prices to your homes and businesses in future years,” he said.

“Australia has one of the leading solar resources in the world so the potential at that level is nothing short of incredible.

“PV is particularly suitable to meet the challenges that Australia has with such a scattered population and long grid system. As PV is totally scaleable. It can be installed at sizes to meet local load and generation export capabilities.

“The importance of projects such as Royalla to the future of the Australian economy cannot be understated. Other countries are continuing to deploy renewable energy as they see it as essential to be competitive in a global market, hopefully Australian governments will also recognise this and not be left behind.”

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson