The Renewable Energy Target scheme in Australia is a government program with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector and encouraging the use of sustainable and renewable energy sources. This initiative aims to boost the quantity of fresh renewable energy production in Australia. Initially implemented by the Howard Administration in 2001, it was later expanded by the Rudd Government in 2009 and subsequently scaled back by the Abbott Government in 2015.
The scheme works by allowing both large-scale power stations and owners of small-scale systems to generate certificates based on the electricity they produce. These certificates consist of large-scale generation certificates and small-scale technology certificates. Every megawatt hour of power generated results in the creation of both these certificates. Electricity retailers, who supply power to homes and businesses, purchase these certificates to fulfill their legal obligations under the Renewable Energy Target. This creates a market that provides financial incentives for both large-scale renewable energy power stations and small-scale renewable energy system owners.
For small-scale systems like solar rooftop panels, the installation of an eligible system leads to the generation of small-scale technology certificates. The number of certificates is determined by the amount of electricity generated or replaced from non-renewable sources. Homeowners often transfer the right to create these certificates to an agent in exchange for a reduced purchase price. The specific benefits and incentives vary across the country based on the extent of solar energy usage.
Benefits of Renewable Energy Target
The benefits of the Renewable Energy Target are:
- It leads to significant cost savings for Australian households on their electricity bills.
- This initiative promotes investment in domestic industries within Australia.
Moreover, the Renewable Energy Target has already generated a substantial number of jobs for Australians, with thousands more employment opportunities anticipated in the future.
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