• Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
    Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has confirmed $1.9 billion in new investment commitments in the 2022-23 year.

This figure includes a record $1.2 billion in renewable energy and grid-related investment commitments, according to CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth.

“In making a record $1.2 billion in renewables investment commitments in the 2022-23 year, we have worked with investors and project developers to help bring forward 14 large-scale solar, wind and storage projects with a total transaction value of $5.7 billion,” he said.

“Investment of this scale is critical to our national goal of reaching 82 per cent renewables by 2030.”

In its Investment Update 2022-23, the CEFC completed 30 new and 20 follow-on transactions in the 12 months to 30 June 2023, committing an additional $1.9 billion to transactions with a total value of $11.7 billion.

Lifetime CEFC commitments reached $12.7 billion across more than 300 large-scale transactions, taking lifetime total transaction value to $48.8 billion.

Significantly, private sector leverage for CEFC investment commitments in the 2022-23 year reached an all-time high, with each $1 of CEFC capital attracting an additional $5.02 in private sector capital. This strong leverage reflects CEFC investments in large-scale transformational investments, including a $100 million commitment to the NSW Waratah Super Battery, one of the largest standby network batteries in the world.

The CEFC also made its single largest investment in a wind project, committing up to $222.5 million to Victoria’s 756MW Golden Plains Wind Farm.

A record $54.5 million in new and follow on commitments was spent via the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, which is managed by fund manager Virescent Ventures.

Each $1 of Innovation Fund capital attracted an additional $6.47 in private sector capital in the 2022-23 year, delivering a combined $407.3 million to emerging cleantech businesses.

CEFC investments in large-scale renewables and transmission-related projects since inception have contributed to transactions with a total value of $18.8 billion at 30 June 2023.

“A defining feature of the net zero transition is the flow on economic benefits, in terms of new investment in infrastructure, property and natural capital, alongside the development of new energy sources, such as hydrogen and alternative fuels,” he said.

Capital returned to the CEFC in 2022-23 was $1.2 billion, taking lifetime repayments and returns to more than $4.5 billion. At 30 June 2023, the CEFC portfolio of on-risk investments was $7.7 billion. “We are pleased to report repayments and refinancings have averaged close to $1 billion for each of the past four years, reflecting the strength of the CEFC model,” he said.

“This demonstrates the crowding in of private sector banks and investors allowing us to continue to reinvest capital from our original $10 billion allocation, alongside new commitments drawing on the additional $20.5 billion allocation announced in the reporting year.”

The Australian Government also approved an additional $20.5 billion capital allocation to the CEFC, the first increase since the CEFC was established in 2012.

The new capital includes $19 billion to transform the Australian energy transmission grid through Rewiring the Nation, $1 billion to help householders reshape their energy use, and $500 million to back the ongoing growth and development of projects and companies in the climate tech sector.

The recent increase in capital allocation to $30.5 billion substantially expands the role of the CEFC as Australia’s ‘green bank’.