Elon Musk has accepted that Australia must be cautious over its transition to renewables, stating that developers of wind and solar energy farms are not meeting industry standards.
The French clean energy company Neoen, which has work alongside Musk’s Tesla on a battery farm in South Australia, has reiterated concerns from the International Energy Agency (IEA) over integrating renewables into the country’s energy mix too quickly.
Neoen’s global chief executive, Xavier Barbaro, told The Australian: “The IEA is right in calling for attention on how the transition happens. Not all projects are equal and not all power producers are equal.” He added: “We have seen recently in Australia some developers and some projects fail.”
Barbaro said Australia must ensure that it secures reliable and cheap energy supplies while it integrates intermittent renewables into the grid.
“The national government and the state government should be very careful about who is in charge of developing renewable energy projects,” Mr Barbaro said.
The IEA said Australia must compromise by using fossil fuels alongside clean energy to ensure reliable supplies to consumers.
The rush to integrate 7700MW of solar energy has raised concerns across the industry due to the inexperience of contractors brought in to achieve the ambitious targets. The collapse of the sector’s largest contractor, RCR Tomlinson, has heightened these concerns.
Meanwhile coal continues to dominate the Australian energy mix, accounting for 70% of the market.