The Renewable Energy Target 2015 Administrative Report was released by the Clean Energy Regulator last week, revealing Australia is still on track to meet the Renewable Energy Target (RET). However, the industry needs to get moving between now and the end of 2016.
According to Clean Energy Council Policy Manager Alicia Webb, there are more than enough approved renewable energy projects to meet the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET), but the biggest obstacle has been securing finance following several years of investment uncertainty.
“The RET is achievable given the progress to this point, but the Clean Energy Regulator says about 20 new renewable energy projects – or 3000 megawatts – need financial commitment by the end of the year,” said Ms Webb. “If the industry falls behind during 2016, it could be possible to catch up next year with a higher proportion of large-scale solar projects, which are faster to build than wind farms.”
Some of the other main points from the report are as follows:
- Between 2016 and 2020, 6000 megawatts of extra renewable energy will need to be delivered through a mix of approximately 25 per cent solar and 75 per cent wind
- Meeting the LRET makes up 1.9 per cent of power bills, but it reduces other parts of the bill so the actual cost is less
- Solar farms made up the majority of new renewable energy power stations in 2015 for the second year in a row
- There is still a very large surplus of renewable energy certificates – about 18 million.
When the RET scheme was revised last year, federal Energy Minister Greg Hunt asked the Clean Energy Regulator to track and report on progress towards the target each year. The regulator’s 2015 administrative report and statement marks the first time this has been done.