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Achieving the objectives

Context

Electricity generation accounts for around one-third of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. Recognising the important role of renewable energy in reducing emissions, Australia introduced the Renewable Energy Target in 2001.

Originally the target was to source two per cent of the nation's electricity from renewable sources. In 2009, this increased to 41 000 gigawatt hours by 2020.

In January 2011 the Renewable Energy Target was split into two parts:

  • Large-scale Renewable Energy Target–this scheme creates a financial incentive to establish and expand renewable power stations such as solar farms, wind farms and hydro-electric power stations. It delivers the majority of the 2020 target (see page 34).
  • Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme–this scheme creates a financial incentive to install small generation units (solar panels, wind or hydro systems) and solar water heaters (including air source heat pumps) (see Small-scale systems).

The Clean Energy Regulator manages these schemes as part of its purpose of accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.

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