A Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) represents one megawatt-hour of renewable electricity generated or displaced by qualifying small-scale renewable energy systems like solar PV, wind, hydro, solar water heaters, and air source heat pumps. These certificates serve as a financial incentive, reducing the upfront installation expenses for small-scale renewable energy systems.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) allocates a specific number of STCs to eligible small-scale renewable energy systems as part of the incentive program.
Number of STCs Allowed
The number of certificates that a renewable energy system can obtain depends on its location, installation date, and the amount of electricity it generates or displaces over specific timeframes.
- For small-scale solar panels, wind, or hydro systems, the certificates are determined based on the electricity they produce over one or five years or during a single maximum deeming period.
- For solar water heaters or heat pumps, the certificates are based on the electricity they effectively replace over a single maximum deeming period.
To find out how many certificates a system can receive, you can use the small generation unit STC calculator for solar panels, wind, or hydro systems, and the solar water heater STC calculator for solar water heaters and heat pumps.
Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC), once created and verified, acts as a form of currency. These certificates can be sold to recover a portion of the system’s purchase and installation costs or transferred to others at a negotiated price. The Renewable Energy Target is supported by an online registry system called the REC Registry, which facilitates the creation, validation, auditing, and transfer of these certificates.
The calculation incorporates multiple factors and adheres to a methodology established by the CER.
1. Deemed Energy Generation: The CER uses a method called deemed energy generation to determine the amount of electricity generated or displaced by a system. This methodology considers various factors such as the system capacity, location, and type of technology.
2. Deeming Period: The deeming period signifies the anticipated lifespan of the system. The CER sets distinct periods of consideration for various types of technology. For example, solar systems have a deeming period of 15 years.
3. Location-based Multiplier: The CER provides a location-based multiplier to accurately consider the differences in renewable energy generation potential across regions. The multiplier represents the amount of solar radiation or wind resources that can be harnessed at the installation site. Regions with higher solar or wind energy potential benefit more, resulting in more Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).
4. System Capacity: The size of the small-scale renewable energy system plays a crucial role in determining the quantity of STCs. It usually represents the max power output or system capacity represented in kilowatts (kW).