Much much discussion within the Solar Industry of recent months has centered around the beloved, and potentially endangered, Renewable Energy Target (RET). You may have heard some of this discussion here and there, and wondered, What is the RET? How does it affect me if it stays around or not? Please read on, these questions, and more, will be answered as I explain the important role of the RET within Australia’s Renewable Energy Industry.
Let’s start at the beginning; in 2001 the Australian Government introduced a Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) of 9,500 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) on new electricity generation (by renewable sources), with the scheme running until at least 2020. An Expanded Renewable Energy Target was passed on 20 August 2009, to ensure that renewable energy obtains a 20% share of electricity supply in Australia by 2020.
To ensure this new target, the Government committed that the MRET will increase from 9,500 GWh to 45,000 GWh by 2020, the scheme was then adjusted to last until 2030. In short, the RET is a means to ensure that a minimum percentage (20% by 2020) of electricity that is generated in Australia, originates from renewable sources. The RET achieves this by providing a ‘rebate’ incentive to both large-scale generators (i.e. wind and solar farms), as well as the owners of small-scale systems (i.e. households and businesses with solar power systems on their roof).
The dollar value of the solar power rebate is calculated into certificates based on the expected generation of the solar panels in that particular solar system, over a 15 year period. These certificates are created upfront, upon the installation of the solar system and the owner of the solar power system then has the option to surrender their certificates to the solar installers, or another agent, in return for payment.
The RET has been a very effective scheme to assist in ensuring that solar power systems are affordable, and if reduced or removed will have a devastating effect on the Renewable Energy Industry. For example, if the RET were removed, the cost of a solar system could skyrocket to as much as 150% of the current solar power prices, due the removal of the rebate. Needless to say, this is not a sustainable jump for any Industry.
The Federal Government has recently received a ‘review report’ on the RET, which includes recommendations to either scale back or entirely remove the RET.
This is why friends, that I implore you, if being a part of the renewable/sustainable energy generation (one that takes better care of our environment for our generation and those to follow) is of any importance to you, please add your voice to the thousands who are standing up solar.
A couple of ways you can do this is by going to:
- visiting this website and joining the petition; and/or
- getting in touch with your Federal Member for Parliament (all it take is a short email), to show your support for the RET and the role it has to play in ensuring a cleaner, greener Australia.
As always, if you have any questions regarding this blog or anything else regarding Solar or Electrical, my team and I would only be too happy to assist you.
Please call us on 07 3633 0163.