Renewable Energy News

As the push for Renewable Energy continues, news of how different countries are adopting Renewable sources flood in. This page serves as a tracker for the global progress of Renewable Energy. 

April 2016 - 'Clean energy is killing fossil fuels'

Investment in renewable energy technology — solar and wind power — is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels, according to Bloomberg.

April 2015 - 'Fossil Fuels just lost the Race against Renewables'

The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas and oil combined. 

BloombergBusiness, 8/4/2016 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/fossil-fuels-just-lost-the-race-against-renewables 

April 2015 - 'World is finally producing renewable energy at an industrial scale'

According to a United Nations Environment Programme report released in March by Frankfurt School UNEP centre and Bloomberg New Energy finance, renewable energy is becoming a globally significant source of power. It is entering the market at a scale that is relevant in energy industry terms, and at a competitive price with fossil fuels. With more than 100,000 megawatts of capacity installed last year renewable energy is now a significant energy industry. 

The guardian 21/07/15 - http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/apr/20/renewable-energy-global-trends-solar-power 

March 2015 - Global Trends in Renewable Energy investment Report

A report released by the UN Environment Programme in March 2015 revealed a lot about global energy Trends from the year 2014. Some key findings were:

  • China saw by far the biggest renewable energy investments in 2014 - A record $83.3 Billion, up 39% from 2013. The US was second, up 7% on the year, but well below its all-time high reached in 2011. Japan came in 3rd, 10% higher than 2013 and also its largest total ever. 
  • A prominent feature of 2014 was the rapid expansion of renewables into new markets in developing countries. Investment, at $131.3 billion was up 36% from the previous year and came closest to developed countries, which invested $138.9 billion.
  • Wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-power, geothermal and small hydro and marine power contributed an estimated 9.1% of world electricity generation in 2014, compared to 85.% in 2013. This is the equivalent of saving 1.3 gigatonnes of CO2 taking place as a result of the installed capacity of those renewable sources. 
  • The market for renewable energy is dominated by solar and wind, which accounted for 92% of overall investment in renewable power and fuels. Investment in solar jumped 29% to 149.6 billion. These expenditures added 49GW of wind capacity and 46GW of solar PV, both records. 
  • Investment in Europe advanced less than 1% to $57.5 billion. There were seven billion-dollar-plus financings of offshore wind projects, boosting the investment totals for the Netherlands, the UK and Germany. These included, at the euro equivalent of $3.8 billion, the largest single renewable energy asset finance deal ever, outside large hydro – that of the 600MW Gemini project in Dutch waters.

For full report click here.

Renewable Energy Target (RET) 

The Renewable Energy Target Scheme was introduced in 2001 by the Howard Government . It initially set out to ensure that 20% of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. In 2011 the RET was operated in two parts – the Small-scale Renewable energy Scheme (SRES) and the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET).

Large-scale Renewable Energy target

The LRET creates a financial incentive for the establishment or expansion of renewable energy power stations, such as wind and solar farms or hydro-electric power stations. It does this by legislating demand for Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs). One LGC can be created for each megawatt-hour of eligible renewable electricity produced by an accredited renewable power station. LGCs can be sold to entities (mainly electricity retailers) who surrender them annually to the Clean Energy Regulator to demonstrate their compliance with the RET scheme’s annual targets. The revenue earned by the power station for the sale of LGCs is additional to that received for the sale of the electricity generated.

The LRET includes legislated annual targets which will require significant investment in new renewable energy generation capacity in coming years. The large-scale targets ramp up until 2020 when the target will be 41,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity generation.

Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

The SRES 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.

RET-liable entities with an obligation under the LRET also have a legal requirement under the SRES to buy STCs and surrender them to the Clean Energy Regulator on a quarterly basis.

While it is possible for owners of renewable energy systems to create and sell the STCs themselves, in practice, installers of these systems usually offer a discount on the price of an installation, or a cash payment, in return for the right to create the STCs.

For more information visit the Department of the Environments website here.

March 2015 - RET

Recently however the RET has undergone various updates as debate circles around the specific targets that should apply to Large-scale Renewable Energy. An open letter from various energy and environment organisations demanded a resolution on the Future of the RET. This is because most of the Renewable Energy sector now accept that with less than 5 years to run, the industry did not have the time or capacity to generate the amount of renewable energy required to reach the existing target of 41,000GWh by 2020. 

If the RET target isn't recalibrated, power companies are on a trajectory to pay a legislated penalty price for renewable energy certificates, which would see a surge in energy prices.

The Clean energy Corporation has called on the government to compromise at 33,500 gigawatt hours production by 2020. At the moment the industry produces about 17,000 gigawatt hours. 

Renewable Energy updates 

For more updates on Renewable energy check out these links 

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