Tracking towards 2020: Encouraging renewable energy in Australia

3 May 2017

The purpose of the annual administrative report is to account for the performance of the two schemes that make up the Renewable Energy Target and to explain how it is administered in accordance with legislation. Like all policy instruments, the Renewable Energy Target operates in a context. External factors such as financial market conditions affect the investment decisions of scheme participants. New business models and new technologies, notably battery storage, also create opportunities and occasionally new challenges for the administration of the schemes. This year we have taken a fresh approach to the format of this report to explain the influence of these trends. In particular, as a backdrop to our data, we have included some commentary from a range of players in the sector. On the other side of the coin, investments incentivised by the scheme, while meeting the objectives of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, occur in the wider context of the electricity market. In 2016, more starkly than in any previous year, questions came to the fore about integration of renewables into the grid, and the alignment of energy and emissions reduction policies. Discussion also commenced about policy options to meet Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target, including incentives for renewables beyond the 2020 Renewable Energy Target. These weighty questions are beyond the scope of this report. While these matters are debated and analysed, it is especially critical that all parties have access to the facts. In that sense, this report and other data published periodically by the Clean Energy Regulator have added significance.

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