The Renewable Energy Target is made up of two legislated schemes that continue to operate until 2030 under the
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (the Act).
The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target, encourages investment in large-scale renewable power stations to achieve 33,000 gigawatt hours of additional renewable electricity generation by 2020. The target stays the same from 2020 to 2030 and, under the current law, new renewable energy power stations can continue to be accredited after 2020.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme supports the installation of small-scale renewables, such as household solar rooftop panels and solar hot water systems.
Financial incentives were provided for small-scale solar systems over a 15 year deeming period until 2016. From 2017, the deeming period was reduced to 14 years and will continue to reduce by one year, every year until the scheme ends in 2030. For eligible solar hot water and air source heat pumps, financial incentives are provided over a 10-year deeming period. From 2022, the deeming period reduces by one year every year until the scheme ends in 2030.
Both schemes achieve their objective through creating tradable renewable energy certificates. Each certificate represents a megawatt hour of renewable electricity.
The Act requires liable entities (usually electricity retailers) to purchase and surrender a certain number of these renewable energy certificates to the Clean Energy Regulator each year until 2030.
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.