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Clean Energy Regulator confirms the RET is met

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Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has confirmed that the federal government’s 2020 Renewable Energy Target is as good as met, by wind and solar projects either already built or in the works.

In a market update released on Friday, the CER said there was now 6553MW of capacity from new renewable energy projects under construction or already built – considerably more than the 6400MW of capacity required to meet the 2020 RET of 33,000GWh.

A further 1454MW of projects, it said, were likely to be fully financed and under construction this calendar year, via power purchase agreements.

“We expect the 2020 Renewable Energy Target will be exceeded at current build levels,” the Regulator says in the report.

“We remain confident the market will continue to operate with a healthy working surplus of around 5 million LGCs in 2018 and 2019. The surplus should start to increase again from 2020.”

The Regulator also noted that if the spot LGC price remained high, electricity retailers may “time shift demand,” either by carrying forward less than 10 per cent of their liability to later years, or by paying the shortfall charge.

This means that retailers that have not bought enough LGCs to meet their obligation will “pay the shortfall charge” now and buy LGCs later.

According to the rules of the scheme, however, these companies have three years grace to pay, allowing them to buy when prices fall – as ERM Power did last year.

CER executive general manager Mark Williamson said the build-out of renewables in Australia, including the booming commercial and industrial solar market, was exceeding expectations.

“We do think everybody is underestimating the pace of (renewable energy development),” Williamson told Australian Energy Week in Melbourne on Friday.  

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  • Joe

    A target is not a Cap. If the RET has been met then it is no reason to down tools so to speak. Please continue the RE march onwards and upwards, yes.

    • Nick Kemp

      That’s exactly my view. Even if the government of the day is not leading the charge the switch is on. From household PV and battery through country dairy farms, chicken processors and wineries up to mineral ore processors the economics make sense.

  • GlennM

    Good news…with 8000 MW total heading for 30% by 2023 !

  • Ren Stimpy

    Tony Abbott is expected to issue a press statement over the weekend along the lines of the following:

    “I was wrong to reduce the RET from 41,000GWh to 33,000GWh, because the new lower target I legislated has been met with 19 months to spare. The higher original target would have been met by 2020 if I didn’t spend two years of wasted time whining about it. I realise now I was wrong on yet another thing, and I if I was wrong about this then I was probably also wrong about a whole other range of climate and energy policy.”

    • Mike Westerman

      “And to show my most sincere regret, I will henceforth for one sitting session wear my budgie smugglers on my head and an onion shoved up my
      mouth.”

      • Ren Stimpy

        It’s not enough. Tony has to stick the onion up one of his nostrils then sing all five verses of Advance Australia Fair while dancing the Nitty Gritty wearing his budgies with Scotty’s lump of coal in them. Then we’ll call it even.

  • Pixilico

    You can’t argue with the steep side of an “S” curve.

    • Nick Kemp

      I wonder how far up the ‘S’ we are – I would argue for just a little past the turn up

      • Pixilico

        If we’re not there yet, we’re getting pretty close to it and faster than previous expectations. That’s what the article implies.

  • GlennM

    Sophie,
    it would be nice to have regular status reports like this, perhaps at milestones like at each GW this one is 8 GW, so next one at 9GW then 10GW etc.

    We see regular, almost two or three a week reports of new PPA’s signed it is hard to keep up !