What is the Renewable Energy Scheme?
On 1 January 2011 the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) market underwent a major change. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) was split into:
- Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and
- Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).
LRET covers large-scale renewable energy projects like wind farms, commercial solar and geothermal. It includes legislated annual targets and will operate much the same as the current RET. Power and Water has established a program to bulk purchase large generation certificates.
SRES was created to help home-owners to install eligible small-scale installations such as solar water heaters; air sourced heat pumps and small generation units (small-scale solar panel, wind and hydro systems).
These are entitled to a certain number of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) based on the amount of renewable electricity the system produces. These certificates can be created and sold to buyers.
What are Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)?
One STC is a type of renewable energy certificate.
An STC is obtained for every 1 megawatt-hour (1000 kilowatt-hours) of electricity produced by small generation units, unless the Solar Credits multiplier applies.
Solar Credits increases the number of STCs able to be created for eligible small-scale generation units. Solar Credits apply to the first 1.5kW of all small-scale generation units, including solar, wind, and hydro installations.
For more information on solar credits go to the Clean Energy Regulator's website.
What does this mean?
Owners of eligible systems can sell their STCs to partially offset the cost of installation.
- Clean Energy Regulator (CER) - Renewable Energy Target (RET)
- Small-scale systems eligibility guide
- Solar water heaters owners' guide
- Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
- Clean Energy Council
- Your Home - Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable homes