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Welcome from the Chair and Chief Executive Officer

 

It is my pleasure to present the Renewable Energy Target 2012 Administrative Report. This is the first Administrative Report to be produced since the former Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator was amalgamated into the Clean Energy Regulator on 2 April 2012. Established under the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011 as an independent statutory authority, the Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for administering legislation that will reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of renewable energy.

The Renewable Energy Target scheme is designed to fulfil the Australian Government’s commitment that the equivalent of at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020.

The Renewable Energy Target legislation includes the provision for regular reviews. In 2012 the Climate Change Authority undertook a review of the schemes in line with this requirement. The review focused on possible improvements to the Renewable Energy Target, with recommendations handed down in December 2012.1

Some highlights of the Renewable Energy Target 2012 reporting period include:

  • more than 408,000 additional participants joining the scheme
  • accreditation of 32 new renewable energy power stations, bringing the total number to 368
  • an increase in the number of small-scale systems installed and registered, with over 332,000 small generation units and over 76,000 solar water heaters validated on or before 22 January 2013. Of these, small generation units created 35,633,532 valid small-scale technology certificates and solar water heaters created 2,188,509 valid small-scale technology certificates, and
  • more than 85,000 pre-validation checks in the year, to ensure system compliance before certificates are passed.

The Clean Energy Regulator has the power to enforce compliance requirements under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 and Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 and actively investigated incidences of non-compliance throughout 2012. As the result of investigations, five enforceable undertakings were accepted and the REC Registry accounts of two agents were suspended. Other compliance activities included 32 site visits and 82 compliance visits to discuss compliance issues with scheme participants.

As at 31 December 2012, the Clean Energy Regulator had received 5,421 completed inspection reports under the inspection program. The inspection program was established in 2011 to ensure that small-scale solar panel, wind and hydro installations meet the legislated requirements for small-scale technology certificates creation.

In 2012, the Australian Government released new Solar Credit arrangements, to build sustainability in the market in light of continued strong growth in the industry. This saw the multiplier fall from two to one for small generation unit systems installed from 1 January to 30 June 2013.

Both the large-scale generation certificate and small-scale technology certificate markets were stable during 2012, relative to 2011 when the schemes first split. This is a positive outcome for our stakeholders.

With the stability of the markets we’ve witnessed growth in renewable energy investment in 2012. The Clean Energy Regulator estimates that total investment in large-scale renewable energy power stations stands at around $12 billion and the generating capability of the large-scale system is in the order of 16,167 gigawatt hours of eligible renewable energy per typical year. This is equivalent to the residential electricity needs of over 2.5 million households.

The Renewable Energy Target scheme continues to gain strong industry support, evidenced by nearly 100 per cent compliance by wholesale electricity purchasers (liable entities) for 2012. Six liable entities that had carried forward large-scale generation certificate shortfalls in previous years made up their shortfalls by surrendering additional large-scale generation certificates in 2012.

I look forward to working with all our stakeholders to continue to support investment in renewable energy through the Renewable Energy Target scheme.

Chloe Munro
Chair, Clean Energy Regulator

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