MEDIA RELEASE – Renewable Energy Target working, but solar needs certainty

The full report can be found here

Two million Australian homes now have solar but demand is falling with the phasing out of government support programs, according to a new reportby the REC Agents Association (RAA) – a national industry body representing companies that create and trade renewable energy certificates.

The report by Green Energy Markets for RAA shows Australia installed over one gigawatt of solar PV in 2012 (the 7th largest market in the world), but has seen a 22% drop in the amount of solar PV installed over the past 12 months. More than 3,400 jobs could go over the next 12 months from a high of 18,500 employees.

The decline in the solar market has also led to a substantial fall in the cost of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), a key part of the Renewable Energy Target that helps Australian families install solar.

By 2015, the SRES will cost just $6.50 out of an average $500 a quarter power bill, but the cost is sharply reduced by the parallel reduction in the wholesale cost of electricity delivered by solar. The real cost of the SRES to households is just $1.90 per quarter, or just 0.38% of a typical household quarterly bill. For almost 5 million Australians, solar is substantially reducing their power bills.

“The Renewable Energy Target has helped almost 5 million Australians install solar, making a material contribution to meeting our energy needs”, said Ric Brazzale, CEO of Green Energy Markets and President of the REC Agents Association.

“The Government’s Million Solar Roofs program, in partnership with the Renewable Energy Target, has the potential to inject new energy into the solar market by helping low income earners and renters install solar”, said Mr Brazzale. “There is simply no need to change the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme through a Review of the Renewable Energy Target.”

“The Renewable Energy Target works”, said Fiona O’Hehir, CEO of Greenbank Environmental and Vice-President of RAA. “It creates jobs, reduces emissions and doesn’t cost the Federal Budget a cent. The Abbott Government should reaffirm its strong support for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.”

The full report can be found here

For comment, contact Ric Brazzale on 0419 522 659, Fiona O’Hehir on 0409 176 167.