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Our operating environment

Dynamic environment

We operate in a dynamic environment and must be able to proactively respond to the associated challenges and opportunities. We remain attuned to developments in our operating environment by engaging across the Australian Government and with the states and territories, consulting with industry, experts, stakeholders and participants, and analysing data and market intelligence. This includes assessing broader climate change, energy, political and economic developments.

Key drivers of change that can affect the administration of our schemes include policy and energy market reforms, the increasing investment in renewable energy, market forces, scheme and policy reviews, the impact of changing technology and business models, and international developments.

During 2018–19, the Climate Change Authority completed its review of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme, and the Australian National Audit Office undertook a Performance Audit of the Renewable Energy Target. We contributed information to these reviews based on our data and expertise in regulatory systems, and will carefully consider all recommendations.

Over the next few years, we expect the energy market to continue to evolve. Consumers and businesses are showing a strong preference for renewable energy, however, this transition must be managed to preserve reliability.

To provide participants and investors with certainty throughout these periods of change, we will maintain a considered, consistent and transparent approach in our dealings with them, as highlighted in our Compliance priorities section. We also provide transparency by publishing regular market updates and data sets to ensure the market is fully informed to function well.

Importance of data integrity

To ensure the integrity and useability of our data into the future, we will become increasingly sophisticated in the way we use and share data to inform our participants and markets, the public and policy makers.

For data governance, sharing and management, we are guided by the principles of whole-of-government initiatives such as the Digital Transformation Agenda and the Public Data Policy Statement, as well as lessons learned in the private sector.

We will continue to pursue opportunities for improvement—ranging from using automation to enhance efficiency and decision-making, to harnessing data analytics to improve understanding of the markets our schemes operate in—so we can more effectively adjust our processes to changing circumstances and identify non-compliance early.

Strong relationships with partners

We are committed to building on our relationships with our partners to enhance and leverage greater value from our collective data holdings.

One of our priorities for managing compliance is to increase the use of data to compare, analyse and assess participant activity through data matching. We continue to grow our partnerships with a range of government and industry bodies. For example, we partner with the Australian Energy Market Operator sharing data to support the validation of renewable energy certificates and give confidence in the data reported by liable entities under the Renewable Energy Target. We also partner with the Clean Energy Council, the Smart Energy Council and industry to validate data on solar panel serial numbers to reduce potential fraud in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, and cooperate with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to analyse potential criminal threats to our schemes.

We have established relationships across government to make better use of our data holdings. We have addressed inconsistencies and anomalies in the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme data set. This means longitudinal data about energy use and emissions at a facility level is now available to inform analysis for the Australian Energy Statistics, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Australia’s Emissions Projections, and the Safeguard Mechanism. The linked data will enable future research comparing energy and emissions data with other micro-level business characteristic data, such as data available through the Australian Taxation Office.

We will continue to seek out new partners to further develop our capabilities and ensure positive outcomes for the community.

Portfolio and minister

As at 30 June 2019, the Clean Energy Regulator operated within the Environment and Energy Portfolio, reporting to the Hon Angus Taylor MP as Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction.

Legislation

The Clean Energy Regulator was established on 2 April 2012 as an independent statutory authority under the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011.

Climate change laws we administer include: