Renewable Energy Target (RET) Review Report
On 28 August 2014 a government panel led by Dick Warburton published the RET Review Report, a document examining the operation, costs and benefits of the Renewable Energy Target.
First introduced in 2001 and expanded over time, the RET in its current form legislates that at least 20% of electricity should come from renewable sources by 2020 and that this level should be maintained until 2030. To achieve this target the RET is split into two financial incentives: the large-scale renewable energy target (LRET) and the small-scale renewable energy scheme (SRES).
The LRET legislates the trading of large-scale generation certificates, which are used to encourage power stations to generate electricity from renewable sources and to encourage new energy projects. The SRES creates a financial incentive for small, under 100kWh renewable energy system installation, such as solar panels and solar water heaters.
The scheme was last reviewed by the Climate Change Authority in 2012, which did not recommend any significant changes.
In February 2014, the Abbott government commissioned an expert panel to review the scheme again. This review recommends a significant reduction or phase out of the renewable energy target. The panel has concluded that the government either close the LRET to new entrants or set annual targets based on electricity demand. It also recommends that the SRES be closed or phased out by 2020 and that eligibility be reduced from 100kWh’s to 10kWh’s.
The findings of this report have largely been viewed as a major blow to the renewable energy industry and investment in Australia. However, there is expected to be insufficient support within the senate for any of these changes to be legislated.
Here are some related articles:
Australia Solar Council
Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET)
On 19 December 2014, the Victorian Government announced that the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme would continue, despite steps from the previous Government to close the scheme at the end of 2015.
The VEET scheme, also known as the Energy Saver Initiative, was introduced in 2007 to promote energy efficiency within residential and non-residential premises. The scheme has been funded by the Victorian consumer, by a charge passed directly from electricity bills based on the targeted carbon reduction. Under the July 2012 amendment, businesses with high energy usage that registered under the Environment Protection Agencies (EPA) Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans (EREP) were exempt from the VEET charge. The threshold for this program was for businesses with greater than 100TJ energy usage or greater than 120 ML of water.