Sun Cable demise shows renewable energy mega-projects 'really hard'

The collapse of plans by two of Australia's richest people to export solar power from the country's sun-drenched north to Singapore highlights the extreme difficulty of

developing mega renewable energy projects, according to experts.   Sun Cable, which is backed by iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest and tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes,

was placed into voluntary administration last week amid a falling out between the pair over the need to tip more money into the venture. The failure has shone a light on the

challenges facing ambitious green power export projects, which include the massive Asian Renewable Energy Hub proposal for the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia's north

west. David Leitch, a renewable energy analyst and former investment banker, said Sun Cable's Australia-Asia Power Link project was technically feasible but its scale was

unprecedented anywhere in the world. Under the company's existing plans, Sun Cable wants to build a giant 20-gigawatt solar farm in the Northern Territory before sending the

power to Singapore via a 4,200km subsea cable through Indonesian waters. The farm, which would be backed by the world's biggest network of batteries and cover an area

equivalent to 12,000 rugby pitches, would supply up to 15 per cent of Singapore's power needs. Its estimated cost would be about $35 billion.Revolutionary scale, not

technology Mr Leitch said the project appeared to be plausible, noting that the solar, battery and transmission technologies involved were mature. However, he said the

scale at which Sun Cable planned to deploy them was revolutionary and made development so much harder to achieve.