liable entities (generally electricity retailers) are required to
surrender approximately 28.5 million small-scale technology certificates (STCs) to meet their Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) obligations for 2023.
The SRES creates a financial incentive for individuals and small businesses to install eligible small scale renewable energy systems such as solar panel systems, solar water heaters and air source heat pumps. It aims to balance supply and demand by requiring all STCs that are created to be surrendered over time. To do this each year the STP is set and liable entities are required to surrender STCs equal to the amount estimated to be created in that year, plus or minus an adjustment for previous under or over surrenders.
The number of STCs each liable entity is required to source and surrender each year is calculated by multiplying the amount of wholesale electricity (relevant acquisitions) they acquire (minus exemptions) by the STP for that compliance year. Liable entities surrender STCs quarterly to the agency to meet their Renewable Energy Target (RET) obligations.
Quarterly Carbon Market Report provides regular information on the markets the agency administers, including STC creation trends and whether a surplus or deficit is likely to emerge for the year.
Each year the agency recommends a percentage to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy using data or estimates for matters the minister must consider, as set out in the
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (the Act). These matters are:
The minister may also consider other matters when determining the STP.
The STP must be set by regulation by 31 March of the setting year, otherwise a default percentage is applied.
The STC creation estimate is the average of consultants' forecasts (see the consultants'
modelling reports). For 2023, the estimated number of STC creations is 34.4 million.
For creations in 2023, this figure is based on data to 30 October 2022 and the Clean Energy Regulator's (CER) estimate of STC creations for the remainder of 2022.
Relevant acquisitions of electricity are wholesale electricity purchases by a liable entity, as defined in the Act. These are estimated based on the sum of acquisitions reported by liable entities in the
REC Registry 2 years prior to the setting year, rounded to the nearest 100,000 megawatt hours (MWh).
Data 2 years prior is used because compliance and assessment activities for that year have been completed and the number is unlikely to change. This process assumes electricity demand remains relatively stable, in line with the
Australian Energy Market Operator's predictions.
Under or over-estimating relevant acquisitions and exemptions has a relatively minor impact on the STP calculation. Estimated relevant acquisitions of electricity for 2021, used in the 2023 STP calculation, are 211,400,000 MWh.
The cumulative adjustment accounts for over or under supply of STCs in previous years. It equals the sum of all STCs created minus the sum of all STCs surrendered, since the SRES started. The cumulative adjustment is added to the STC creations estimate.
In 2022 STC creations were significantly less than required surrenders. This resulted in a negative cumulative adjustment for the 2023 STP calculation. The 2023 STP cumulative adjustment is -5,879,940 STCs.
Other considerations included in the cumulative adjustment are the:
Businesses receive exemption certificates (in MWh) for electricity used in
emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) activities. Businesses exchange these certificates with their electricity retailer to reduce electricity costs. The electricity retailer surrenders exemption certificates to the agency to reduce their RET liability.
Each year we estimate the EITE exemptions and deduct this amount from the acquired electricity estimate for that year. Like relevant acquisitions, data 2 years prior to the setting year are used as they are unlikely to change.
Estimated EITE exemptions for 2021, used in the 2023 STP calculation, are 36,300,000 MWh.
The matters the minister must consider when setting the STP are expressed by the formula:
For the purpose of calculating the STP, 1 MWh of electricity is equivalent to 1 STC.
The 2023 STP calculation is:
If the STP is not set by 31 March in the setting year, a default value automatically comes into force. To date the default STP has not been applied.
The Act requires the agency to publish non-binding STPs for the 2 years following the setting year. The non-binding STP is intended to give an indication of what the STP could be in those years. This is not accurate in years when there is a large difference between STC creations and STC estimates. Non-binding estimates should be considered a general guide only.
The non-binding STPs do not bind the CER or affect the determination of a liable entity's liability in those years.
The non-binding STP is calculated using the following formula. As with the STP, STC creations are the average of consultants' forecasts (see
modelling reports). For 2024, this is 31.5 million STCs and for 2025 it is 25.9 million STCs.
documentAsset:Small-scale technology percentage
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