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Australia, China to jointly invest in solar energy

An Australian green investment bank will partner with a Chinese associate in the aim of encouraging more companies to invest in solar energy and, in particular, the use of photovoltaic panels, local media said on Wednesday.

Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corp, which has been heavily scrutinized by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, will fund the majority of the initiative, China’s ET Solar will own, operate and maintain the instillation of panels.

According to research from market analysts Green Energy Trading, the amount of photovoltaic panels installed within Australia hardly increased throughout last year, driving the creation of this latest partnership.

This, in turn, will enable customers to buy the electricity at an agreed price, lower than the current price of power, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

“We see (the power purchase agreement) finance model as a way to remove the barrier of the upfront capital requirement, which should enable many more Australian businesses to benefit from solar, reducing energy costs and lowering emissions,” Clean Energy Finance Corp’s chief executive Oliver Yates said.

According to the head of operations and business development for ET Solar in Australia, Sam Khalil, the Nanjing-based company hopes to target the commercial market, including shopping centres, through this new venture.

“Our first photovoltaic systems installed through this program will involve large-scale commercial projects in Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales, with a rollout to all states around Australia,” Khalil said.

“We currently have a commercial-scale car port structure solar project underway in Queensland, which will incorporate solar energy into a shopping center car park, with a similar construction planned in other states.”

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