On a line of low hills standing sentinel beside a dry lake bed near Canberra, giant turbines turning slowly in a chill winter breeze give no hint of a multi-billion-dollar storm building around renewable energy.


Infigen Energy's Capital Windfarm, built five years ago, was a vanguard for wind power as Australia sought to wean itself from cheap fossil-fuel power in the face of climate shift blamed in part for Lake George's transformation to a vast plain.


But big plans to expand the Infigen renewable energy project near Canberra and others like it have been put on hold awaiting the outcome of September's federal elections.


The ballot, which opinion polls show the Coalition winning, along with an economic slowdown and rising home energy bills have put the brakes on Australia's decade-long clean energy push.


At stake in the September. 14 vote is a controversial carbon trading scheme championed by ruling Labor to curb greenhouse gas emissions, with a $20 billion pipeline in renewable investment largely on hold as nervous companies sit on their hands.