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Rooftop solar and ERF project registrations – the big movers in carbon markets in Quarter 2

03 September 2020

New data in the latest Quarterly Carbon Market Report (Quarter 2 2020), published by the Clean Energy Regulator, shows accelerated growth in rooftop solar and an increase in project registrations in the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator David Parker said that renewable investment in both small-scale and large-scale renewables has exceeded expectations and provided support to the Australian economy.

“Rooftop solar PV installations are likely to exceed the previous estimate of 2.7 gigawatts for 2020 and reach 2.9 gigawatts, this is a tremendous result considering COVID-19 impacts. Last year’s record was just under 2.2 gigawatts”, said Mr Parker.

“The strong growth in rooftop solar PV over the first six months of the year is estimated to have added 2,800 jobs at a time when employment in other sectors has contracted.

“We also accredited more than 2 gigawatts capacity of large-scale renewable projects during the first half of 2020 and are expecting to reach 3.4 gigawatts for the calendar year.

“We expect 6.3 gigawatts of total renewable energy capacity to be delivered in 2020, matching the record set in 2019. To put this in perspective, the total capacity delivered in 2016 was 1.2 gigawatts” said Mr Parker.

The large-scale renewable energy market is experiencing substantial real investment, delivering around 2 to 3 gigawatts of capacity each year – six times the average capacity in the years prior to 2017. The Report explains why the build signal is now lower compared to the 2017 and 2018 boom period of 4 gigawatts of each year capacity reaching financial close.

“Emissions Reduction Fund project registration has seen substantial growth with 43 projects registered during the first half of 2020, already surpassing total registration in all of 2019.

“The Emissions Reduction Fund Auction 11, scheduled for 9-10 September 2020, is likely to see an increase in participation with 62 project applications received in July, prior to the project registration deadline for Auction 11. This indicates a potential of additional carbon abatement in the future,” said Mr Parker.

Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) supply remains on track for 16 million ACCUs for the full year.

The first half of 2020 has been momentous for voluntary surrender of certificates with a record number of certificates being surrendered in Quarter 2 2020, approximately 3.3 times the total surrendered the same time last year.

This was driven by the Australian Capital Territory government. They surrendered 2.2 million large-scale generation certificates to show it had achieved its 100 per cent renewable energy target.

“Total emissions reduction from the Renewable Energy Target and Emissions Reduction Fund is expected to be approximately 54.5 million tonnes of emissions reduction in 2020, compared to 47.7 million tonnes delivered in 2019,” said Mr Parker.

More information can be found in the Clean Energy Regulator’s Quarter 2 2020 Carbon Market Report.

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