The Victorian Government announced new targets for renewable energy of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025 in June, a major boost for the renewable energy sector which will drive investment and jobs to the state.
The targets will be met by using an auction scheme which will aim to stimulate an additional 1500 megawatts of renewable energy generation in Victoria over the next three years, according to the design outlined in the government's consultation paper.
The Clean Energy Council strongly supported the proposal, which will build on the success of the renewable energy auctions pioneered by the ACT Government. The Clean Energy Council called on the government to proceed without delay in a submission, and to run multiple auctions in 2017 that would include technology-neutral and solar-specific tranches.
South Australian electricity market turmoil
During July, a major wholesale electricity price spike in South Australia made national news with some commentators pointing the finger at the state’s high renewable energy penetration. In actual fact the spike was due to a culmination of factors including limited interconnection to other states due to maintenance on the transmission grid, recent closure of old, uneconomic coal plants and a spike in gas prices. The Clean Energy Council released a report, 'The rise of renewables in South Australia: Current state of play' to explain some of the factors affecting recent trends including power prices, reliability and system security.
While we've been calling for several years for a more strategic approach to energy market reform, recent events in South Australia have ratcheted the issue into national media headlines – some of which haven't exactly told the whole truth. We hope this report will go some way to getting the agenda back on track and creating meaningful systemic reform to ensure Australia has a 21st century energy system in place.
NSW Government’s new wind farm planning framework
The NSW Government announced a new draft wind farm planning framework on 1 August which is on public exhibition until 16 September.
The framework, when finalised, will replace the current draft guideline which has remained in draft form since December 2011. The new framework has a few big positives, including reduced assessment timeframes, more consistency between wind farms and other types of infrastructure, and the adoption of a standard noise guideline. However it also puts undue emphasis on visual impacts on neighbours and our submission suggests shifting the emphasis back to the broader public good of the wind industry.
The Clean Energy Council’s submission is available at http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/policy-advocacy/submissions.html
All-Energy Australia in partnership with the Clean Energy Council
Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, is coming up from 4-5 October in Melbourne.
The event will include a huge exhibition hall, a Women in Renewables Lunch and sessions on everything from community energy, to smart grids, to new technology, and of course wind.
The event is free to attend. Visit www.all-energy.com.au for more details or to register.