French energy giant Engie SA, most recently seen predicting $10 per barrel oil and 1¢ per kilowatt-hour solar by 2025, is gearing up for a major solar procurement in Australia, while simultaneously moving to shut down its 1,500-MW Hazelwood brown coal generating station in the state of Victoria.
“The push by Engie confirms the rapid shift from coal-based power to renewable energy in Australia, and across the world, and the emergence of large-scale solar in Australia as its energy costs fall,” RenewEconomy reports.
The tender, first announced in an ad in RenewEconomy, closes February 10.
Senior correspondent Giles Parkinson traces recent progress in renewable energy procurement in Australia, including a 100-MW solar plant for Korean-owned zinc refiner Sun Metals, another 720 MW in new procurements across more than a dozen projects, and 1,000 MW in large-scale solar capacity scheduled for 2017.
Conservative forces led by former prime minister Tony Abbott oppose that momentum. “The falling cost of solar, however, is likely to radically reshape the Australian energy industry in coming years,” Parkinson writes. “Large-scale solar is becoming competitive with wind in costs, and is considered easier to get planning permission and quicker to build. It is also more easily shaped to size—from 5-20 MW up to 200 MW or more.”