Electrical systems that generate electricity from renewable sources may be eligible to participate in either the
Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme or the
Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target. These schemes create a financial incentive for the build and installation of renewable power stations and systems — participants in these schemes can create renewable energy certificates, which are bought by electricity retailers to meet their renewable energy obligations. Each scheme has its own eligibility and compliance requirements — it is important that potential participants understand these requirements to make an informed decision of which scheme best suits their system specifications, individual circumstances and professional competencies. A system can only receive benefits under one scheme.
The Renewable Energy Target is intended to provide opportunities for renewable energy systems across a range of technologies and scales, and to allow flexibility for new and innovative business models. Two elements of the Renewable Energy Target (the
Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target and Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme) are designed to support the renewable energy industry in combination, with each scheme providing incentives to different sectors.
In particular, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme are intended for:
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme is not designed for large projects that have a primary purpose to export or sell the power.
While solar PV systems are the most common form of systems being installed in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, the above intent also applies to wind (rating of no more than 10 kW, rather than 100 kW) and hydro systems (rating of no more than 6.4
kW). Systems larger than this are intended to be covered by the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme also provides support for solar water heater and air-sourced heat pump renewable energy systems. The Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target does not support these technologies. The intent of the Small-scale Renewable
Energy Scheme for these technologies is similar to the above electricity-based technologies. The scheme is designed for homeowners and businesses seeking to reduce their energy needs by using renewable energy systems. It is not intended for industrial-scale
systems or for the export of energy.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme has a number of distinctive features designed to assist homeowners and business, including a simple application process and certificates provided upfront based on an estimate of future generation.
By contrast, the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target encourages investment in large projects seeking to export or sell power. Large projects are more complex and subject to a rigorous technical assessment and application process. Accredited power stations
must have their generation measured in order to receive certificates. Large-scale generation certificates are issued for generation that has occurred. A higher degree of evidence of renewable generation is required due to the quantity of the certificates
It should be noted that the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme does not have provisions to gain pre-approval of renewable energy systems and eligibility is only determined once a complete application has been received. The Large-Scale Renewable Energy
Target allows for the provisional accreditation of power stations.
See Small-scale systems eligible for certificates for details of capacity limits.
See Section 17 of the
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 or the Eligibility criteria.
No pre-approval provision.
Prior to or after installation.
Provisional registration possible.
initial system accreditation.
Large-scale generation certificate creation at least annually until 2030 with an Electricity Generation Return submitted each year.
See Compliance and reporting for more information.
The following table details system capacity limits for common technologies in both the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme and Large-scale Renewable Energy Target.
No more than 100 kW rating.
Annual electricity output not more than 250 MWh.
More than 100 kW.
25 MWh or more.
No more than 10 kW rating.
Annual electricity output not more than 25 MWh.
10 kW rating or more.
No more than 6.4 kW rating.
6.4 kW or more.
Annual electricity output of 25 MWh or more.
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.