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Chair's review

This year we’ve seen record levels of carbon abatement and renewable energy generation, and greater uptake of voluntary ambition by the private sector.

We continued to see strong investment in renewables, with more than 4300 megawatts of large-scale renewable capacity accredited during the year. In September 2019, we announced we had accredited enough capacity to achieve the 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 gigawatt hours. This milestone represents the hard work of a growing and dynamic renewables industry.

In addition to large-scale renewables, investment in small-scale renewables, particularly rooftop solar, continues to grow as more and more Australian households and businesses turn to small-scale renewable energy. Small generation units installed under the scheme now have a total capacity of 11,427 megawatts, which generates or displaces 17.8 million megawatt hours of electricity.

The Renewable Energy Target will continue to provide an important framework for ongoing renewable energy investment, as the sector continues to innovate and adapt. We will continue to work with industry, the energy market bodies and government to help address the challenges of increased supply of renewables to the grid including grid reliability and stability.

The Emissions Reduction Fund, together with other initiatives under the Climate Solutions Fund, is driving carbon abatement, emissions reductions and carbon market participation, as we continue momentum towards Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target. This year, 13.4 million tonnes of abatement was delivered under contract, to the value of $165 million. We targeted new sources of projects and investment, which saw the introduction of flexible delivery options under the Emissions Reduction Fund, updates to our systems and registries and outreach and market development through improved information and partnerships.

Vibrant carbon markets are emerging, as markets diversify into new sources of demand. We’ve seen growth in the voluntary surrender by companies and governments of Australian carbon credit units and large-scale generation certificates, which together have increased approximately 70 per cent on 2018–19. This is largely due to corporate ambition to use more renewable energy or to become carbon neutral and we expect more growth in voluntary surrender as more corporations commit to their own net-zero emissions targets.

While encouraging scheme and market participation, we have rigorous compliance measures in place to assist participants understand, and meet, their compliance obligations, resulting in high compliance and reporting rates for regulated entities across the schemes we administer. Our compliance approach continues to mature to ensure scheme participants remain engaged, active and compliant, to protect the integrity of the schemes we administer.

I am proud of the work of our agency this year and these achievements provide us with a good footing to implement relevant parts of the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Examining additional sources of low-cost abatement: expert panel report, referred to as the King Review. This will be an area of focus for us over the coming year. I look forward to continuing engagement with our colleagues at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, and other portfolio agencies, in progressing the recommendations of the King Review and other policy initiatives.

In implementing these recommendations, we will work closely with business to enhance participation in the Emissions Reduction Fund, further incentivise voluntary emissions reductions and support the unlocking of transformative low emissions technologies, and in doing so accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.

Signature of David Parker AM Chair, Clean Energy Regulator

David Parker AM
Chair, Clean Energy Regulator