Australia Provides Credits for Home Use of Solar

New regulations in Australia are expected to spark an unprecedented Aus$2 billion investment boom in renewable energy projects.

CANBERRA, Australia, AU, 2001-04-05 <> The federal government has implemented new regulations for renewable energy this week that will take another step toward reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and spurring investment in all forms of renewable energy. “We are already taking significant steps to reach our Kyoto target with $1 billion already targeted through specific programs to reduce greenhouse emissions,” says Environment minister Robert Hill. The new regulations have come into force despite the current uncertainty surrounding the Kyoto Protocol that addresses global warming. “This world-leading legislation will stimulate a whole range of new renewable energy generation from large scale wind farms to very small renewable energy systems to solar water heaters,” he explains. “It’s all part of the positive response which Australia is making to this global challenge.” “The inclusion of domestic solar hot water systems under the mandatory renewable energy target allows community participation in the renewable energy market and reap the financial and environmental benefits,” he says. “The market will determine the eventual value of the certificates. Depending on the price and number of certificates a system is eligible for, buyers could expect a significant reduction in the price of a solar water heater.” Homeowners who install solar water heaters may be eligible for renewable energy certificates and can contribute toward the achievement of the government’s mandatory renewable energy target. The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 requires electricity suppliers to source an additional 2 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2010, by which time the contribution from renewables must be 9,500 GWh per year. The Act supports the implementation of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target and was passed by Parliament last December. It is the first legislated measure under the government’s program and is expected to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 7 million tonnes in 2010. Wholesale energy purchasers must surrender their Renewable Energy Certificates to the Renewable Energy Regulator. Each Certificate represents 1 MWh of power generated from a new eligible renewable energy source. The certificates are traded through a market separate to the market for physical energy.

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