The purpose of the Renewable Energy Target is to encourage investment in renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It does this by creating a market for renewable energy certificates, which drives investment in the renewable energy sector.
On the supply side of the market, participants create certificates for each megawatt hour of renewable energy generated or displaced (no longer required from the grid). On the demand side, electricity retailers source these certificates to meet their
renewable energy obligations in proportion to the total electricity sold to their customers.
The 2020 Renewable Energy Target is one of the Government's policies that contributes to reducing Australia's emissions to meet Australia’s international climate change commitments.
The Department of the Environment and Energy said in its 2017 Emissions Projections9 update that Australia will overachieve on its 2020 emissions reduction target.
The Government is currently working on the design of the National Energy Guarantee, which proposes to integrate energy and emissions policy in a way that will encourage new investment in clean and low emissions technologies while allowing the electricity
system to continue to operate reliably.
The objectives of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 are to encourage additional generation of electricity from renewable sources, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from the electricity sector and ensure that renewable energy sources
are ecologically sustainable.
Renewable energy has an important role to play in reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.
Since its beginning in 2001, the Renewable Energy Target has significantly increased the number of installations of small-scale renewable energy systems, and successfully stimulated material investment in renewable energy power stations.
The Renewable Energy Target has two parts:
Our role as the Clean Energy Regulator is to administer the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. This includes:
The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme are set in law through the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000. The objectives of the Act are to encourage additional generation of electricity from renewable
sources, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from the electricity sector and ensure that renewable energy sources are ecologically sustainable.
The Renewable Energy Target operates on a calendar year, so key data and analysis in this report reflects the operations of the Act from 1 January to 31 December 2017, as required by legislation.
Over the last 10 years, 23 per cent more Australians have embraced rooftop solar. One in five homes and businesses now generate their own renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions through rooftop solar.
Our data reflects a geographically diverse spread of small-scale system installations, with particular emphasis on suburban, regional and rural areas of Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. Werribee (Victoria), Hoppers Crossing (Victoria) and
Bundaberg (Queensland) have accumulated the highest number of small-scale renewable energy installations since the Renewable Energy Target began in 2001, with more than 17,500 installations each.
The average size of installations nationally in 2017 was six kilowatts. The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme incentivises systems up to 100 kilowatts in size.
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