News | 17th Jul, 2014

Ocean Power Technologies scrap wave-power project near Portland

17 July 2014
Nick Toscano, The Age

A multimillion-dollar renewable energy project expected to generate hundreds of jobs in Victoria's south-west has been dumped after the company declared it was no longer viable.

Ocean Power Technologies will scrap the $233 million wave-power project off the coast of Portland, but the US-based company says there is still hope for clean energy to create more jobs and transform the economy, despite the federal government's different environmental agenda.

Gilbert George, a director of the company's Australian arm, said it was just an "unfortunate coincidence" that the announcement came as the Abbott government successfully repealed the carbon tax on Thursday.

He stressed the decision to scuttle the project was based on commercial, not political, grounds.

Ocean Power Technologies' stock plunged 23 per cent to $1.18 following the announcement -  the lowest since its initial US public offering in 2007.

Environment Victoria chief executive Mark Wakeham said slumping investment in renewable energy projects and the carbon tax repeal were creating doubt on projects such as hydro-power generation.

In the six months to June, Mr Wakeham said, about $40 million was invested in large-scale renewable energy projects compared to almost $2.7 billion last year.

"The government is really putting the brakes on the renewable energy industry," he said. "The playing field is now going back in favour of existing polluting generators."


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