SEA applauds Government endorsement of RET

The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia is delighted with the Federal Government's unequivocal endorsement of a largely unchanged Renewable Energy Target.

In response to a report from the Climate Change Authority (CCA), the Government has decided to maintain the highly effective scheme to ensure that at least 20 per cent of Australia's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

SEA Chief Executive Kirsten Rose said it was a positive outcome, both for the industry, and as a mechanism to continue to reduce Australia's emissions.

"We're nearing a tipping point with renewable energy in Australia. We've seen costs come down, overall demand for electricity fall and investor confidence grow," Ms Rose said.

SEA is pleased that the Government concurs with the Climate Change Authority that both the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) and the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target of 41,000 gigawatt hours remain in force.

"This shows that the Government recognises the importance of policy stability, which will allow the sector to attract the level of investment necessary to meet the target," Ms Rose said.

Among the CCA recommendations endorsed by the Government was the decision to maintain the current threshold for the SRES of 100kW, and to continue monitoring and analysing the medium-scale market.

"SEA is relieved that the Government didn't look to reduce the SRES threshold - that would have compromised the uptake of commercial self-generation," Ms Rose said.

Additionally, the move to review the scheme every four years (instead of every two) will allow the Sustainable Energy Association to work with the major political parties, including the newly formed Western Australian State Government, to drive meaningful change between reviews.

"Western Australia currently generates 9.6% of its electricity from renewable sources. One of SEA's major priorities this year is to work with our members and Government to increase that percentage in line with the Federal RET, which would mean we source more of our renewable energy certificates from local projects," said Ms Rose.