Renewable Energy Target (RET)
The RET scheme is designed to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. The RET scheme is helping to transform Australia’s electricity generation mix to cleaner and more diverse sources and supporting growth and employment in the renewable energy sector.
The RET creates a financial incentive for households, small businesses and community groups to install eligible small-scale renewable energy systems such as solar water heaters, heat pumps, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, small-scale wind systems, or small-scale hydro systems. It does this by legislating demand for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). STCs are created for these systems at the time of installation, according to the amount of electricity they are expected to produce or displace in the future. For example, the SRES allows eligible solar PV systems to create, at the time of installation, STCs equivalent to 15 years of expected system output.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
ARENA is an independent statutory authority which commenced operations on 1 July 2012, with two objectives: to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies, and to increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia. The governance of ARENA is defined by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011.
ARENA has committed $1 billion to nearly 200 projects across a suite of renewable energy types. Industry has matched this investment with a further $1.8 billion, taking the investment in Australian renewables to a total of $2.8 billion as a result of the programme. More information on ARENA is available at: www.arena.gov.au.
Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)
The $10 billion CEFC ($2 billion per year for five years) provides investment in renewable energy, low-emission energy technology and energy efficiency projects in Australia. The CEFC was established on 3 August 2012 under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012. The CEFC commenced funding investments on 1 July 2013. As at 30 June 2014, the CEFC has contracted investments of over $900 million in projects with a total value of over $3 billion.
In July 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to the comprehensive, 10-year National Strategy on Energy Efficiency (NSEE), to accelerate energy efficiency improvements and deliver cost-effective energy efficiency gains across all sectors of the Australian economy. The NSEE aims to streamline roles and responsibilities across government by providing a nationally consistent and coordinated approach to energy efficiency.