Government Announces Revamped Renewable Energy Target

Two days after the Australian Greens submitted a Private Members Bill with recommendations for a revised Renewable Energy Target, the Rudd Government has announced major changes that should please many solar energy supporters.
  
There appears to be one small catch – the changes won’t be implemented until January 2011, which may be after the next Federal election.
  
From 1 January next year the Renewable Energy Target, which guarantees 20 per cent of Australia’s energy in 2020 will come from renewable sources, will include two parts – the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) and the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET).
  
The SRES will apply small-scale technologies such as residential solar power and solar hot water systems and will provide a fixed price of $40 per Renewable Energy Certificate (REC). The Solar Credits program is based on a RECs multiplier system and due to a flood of RECs on the market in recent months, their value has dropped below $40 and in turn affected rebate levels.
  
The LRET will cover large-scale renewable energy projects like wind and solar farms and should boost investor confidence in those projects, which has also been negatively affected by low REC prices.
  
The Government says the changes are expected to deliver more renewable energy than the original 20 per cent target and will ensure Australia builds the clean energy future the nation needs. 
  
More adjustments to the RET may be forthcoming, with the Government stating it will continue to work with the states and territories on other issues being considered by the Council of Australian Governments’ Review of Specific RET Issues.