The latest on Australia’s Renewable Energy Target



The Australian Government commenced a scheduled review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) in early 2014, and the expert panel’s report with recommendations was released in August. The first option suggested by the panel was to close the scheme to new entrants while continuing to ‘grandfather’ certificates for existing projects, and the second option was to meet half of a sliding demand growth target with renewables. This means that in the absence of electricity demand growth, no new renewable energy would be deployed. Based on current demand forecasts, the panel suggest that this option would achieve a ‘real’ 20 per cent share of renewable energy by 2020.

The ‘real’ 20 per cent target refers to the fact that Australia’s current target is a fixed output target of 41,000 GWh, which is predicted to overshoot 20 per cent due to falling demand projections.

The government is currently negotiating with other political parties to try and secure an agreement on the RET. The CEC is continuing to fight to retain the target in its current form, and to stop the two yearly reviews.

Read the report here and the CEC’s response here.

Visit the Clean Energy Council website for more information:

Energy White Paper

The Australian Government released a Green Paper to inform its Energy White Paper in September. The Energy White Paper is intended to provide a policy framework to reduce cost pressures on households and businesses, improve Australia’s international competitiveness and grow its export base.

The Clean Energy Council’s media release pointed out that key to achieving the Green Paper's objectives will be our Renewable Energy Target (RET).

The RET has already played a significant role in transitioning Australia's energy sector from one that is dominated by a few fossil fuel generators to one that is decentralised, efficient and clean.

The CEC made a submission to the Energy White Paper’s Green Paper process, which you can read online here.

The Green Paper covered four major ‘themes’, those being attracting investment, keeping electricity prices down, developing Australia’s gas market, and securing a reliable and affordable future energy supply.

Our submission argued that renewable energy is the answer to these issues as it is a major industry attracting billions in investment, keeps power prices down and can continue to do so by protecting Australia against rising gas prices, and is inherently secure and reliable.

 New wind record broken for July

July saw the most wind energy generation ever sent into Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM), helped by the windy weather and the commissioning of Trustpower's 270 megawatt Snowtown II project in South Australia. Wind energy met 43 per cent of South Australia's power needs across the month, a new record.

The CEC sent out a press release celebrating the record which received widespread coverage:

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