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Power station baselines

 

Accredited power stations can create certificates for electricity generated above their renewable power baselines. The Clean Energy Regulator determines the baseline for each power station according to the Regulations. For a power station that generated electricity before 1997, the baseline is determined by the average amount of electricity it generated from eligible renewable sources from 1994 to 1996. The Clean Energy Regulator determines special baselines if generation data is not available for these generation years. For a power station that first generated electricity after 1 January 1997, the baseline is zero.

Power station baseline variations

The Clean Energy Regulator received six requests from a nominated person (Snowy Hydro Limited) to vary its eligible renewable power baselines for the 2014 generation year under section 30F of the Act. Snowy Hydro Limited applied for these baseline variations as it had been required to release water for environmental flows into the Snowy Montane Rivers and the Snowy River in 2014. The Clean Energy Regulator made decisions in December 2014 to vary the eligible renewable power baselines for the 2014 calendar year under section 30F of the Act and regulation 20E of the Regulations.

Creation of large-scale generation certificates

18 105 644 large-scale generation certificates validly created in 2014
In 2014, a total of 18 105 644 large-scale generation certificates were validly created.

Graph 11 shows valid large-scale generation certificates by renewable energy source since the start of the scheme. The graph includes certificates created by small-scale systems before the splitting of the schemes provided for small-scale technology certificates.

Graph 11: Large-scale generation certificates validly created from the start of the scheme, as at 31 December 2014

Large-scale generation certificates validly created from the start of the scheme, as at 31 December 2014.  

* Biomass includes landfill gas, food waste, food processing waste, agricultural waste, wood waste, sewage gas and biomass based components of sewage, energy crops, waste from processing of agricultural products and biomass based components of municipal solid waste, bagasse, bagasse co-generation, biomass-based components of municipal solid waste, energy crops, wood waste and black liquor.

Note: Large-scale generation certificates can be created up to 31 December the year after the electricity was generated by power stations, which means the complete 2014 year data will be available in next year's report.

Process for creating large-scale generation certificates

In 2014, accredited renewable energy power stations were able to create large-scale generation certificates for eligible renewable electricity they generated above their renewable power baseline for the 2013 and 2014 generation years. Certificates for the 2013 generation year needed to be created by the 31 December 2014 deadline. This is done under section 19 of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.

Renewable energy power stations that did not create certificates within the allowed timeframe are no longer eligible to create certificates for eligible renewable electricity generated in the 2013 generation year.

Since June 2013, the Clean Energy Regulator's large-scale generation certificate validation procedure has required power stations to complete a standing notice declaration each time large-scale generation certificates are created in the REC Registry. This notice confirms ongoing compliance with all relevant Commonwealth, state, territory or local government planning and approval requirements. This requirement is complemented by the annual statement of compliance at the end of each generation year.

Solar growth at lower end of large-scale/higher end of small-scale

As shown in Graph 12, there has been an increase in solar power stations at the lower end of the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target in the past three years, most notably during 2014. Of the 31 solar power stations accredited in 2014, a total of 27 had capacities between 100 kilowatts and 500 kilowatts.

Graph 12: Solar power stations with capacities between 100 and 500 kilowatts, 2001–2014

Solar power stations with capacities between 100 and 500 kilowatts, 2001–2014.  

There has also been a significant increase in commercial and industrial solar panel installations under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme over the past few years, most notably during 2013 and 2014.

Graph 13 shows the rise in solar panel installations with a capacity between 10 and 100 kilowatts, from 84 in 2009 to 6 535 in 2014.

Graph 13: Solar panel installations with capacity between 10 and 100 kilowatts, 2009–2014

Solar panel installations with capacity between 10 and 100 kilowatts, 2009–2014.  

This increase in solar across the lower end of large-scale/higher end of small-scale represents a strong area for growth in the Renewable Energy Target.

More details about the increase at higher end of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme are in the Case study: Rooftop revolution.

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