MEDIA RELEASE – 6,750 solar jobs lost or foregone if Renewable Energy Target is axed

The full report can be found here

Up to 6,750 jobs could be lost or foregone if the Renewable Energy Target is abolished, according to analysis commissioned for the REC Agents Association (RAA), an industry body for companies trading in renewable energy certificates.

“If the Renewable Energy Target is axed, 2,000 jobs could be lost straight away and thousands of new jobs would not be created”, said Fiona O’Hehir, Vice-President of RAA and CEO of Greenbank Environmental, who commissioned the analysis.

“Axing the RET is on the Government’s agenda and they need to understand this would have a diabolical impact on jobs, industry and the hundreds of thousands of Australians who want to put solar on their homes”.

“Last year, the solar industry employed some 17,000 Australians, across 4,300 small and medium sized businesses. Solar workers can be found right across the country, from the outer suburbs of our big cities to rural and regional communities,” said  Ric Brazzale, President of RAA and CEO of Green Energy Trading.

The detailed analysis by industry experts SolarBusinessServices, outlines the future of the solar PV industry, projected to 2018, under three scenarios:

(1)   No policy change: business as usual, floating carbon price, slightly higher exchange rate and lower PV prices;

(2)   Cut to the RET: RET adjusted downwards, cuts to residential solar program (SRES) and carbon price abolished.

(3)   Renewable Energy Target abolished.

“Cutting the Renewable Energy Target would also have severe consequences”, said Ms O’Hehir. “Six hundred jobs could be lost next year with a cut to the RET.”

By 2015, the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) – a key part of the RET that helps Australian families install solar – 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 SolarBusinessServices analysis uses a number of variables to assess their potential impact on the solar market. Changes to the RET have the single largest impact on market uptake, particularly if abolished completely and early.

The full report can be found here

For media comment, contact Fiona O’Hehir on 0409 176 167, Ric Brazzale on
0419 522 659 and Nigel Morris (SolarBusinessServices) on 0410 479 286.

29 January 2014

RAA briefing note – Solar PV making a significant contribution

Click here to view the full briefing note

Solar PV making a significant contribution

Victoria and South Australia have just gone through a week of very high temperatures and very high maximum electricity demand. There has been some debate as to what contribution if any solar PV has made. Our analysis shows that solar PV has made a significant contribution being responsible for reducing peak demand by 4.6 per cent.

According to electricity demand data published by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) the peak electricity demand occurred on Thursday 16th January during the half hour commencing 4.00 pm
in Victoria (10,240 MW) and during the half hour commencing 6.30 pm in South Australia (3,246 MW). South Australia and Victoria are interconnected so to properly assess the contribution of solar PV we
have considered electricity demand and PV contribution across both states.

The generation of electricity from solar at more than 350,000 homes and businesses in South Australia and Victoria is not visible to the electricity system and masks the level and timing of peak
demand. Solar PV is seen by the electricity market as a reduction in electricity use. As a result, AEMO’s data excludes it which has historically made it difficult to determine its contribution. The
Australian PV Institute (APVI) publishes PV generation based on the actual output of 1700 systems across Australia and then applies this to the total number of systems that are installed (refer to
http://pv-map.apvi.org.au). The output of solar PV systems tends to be highest around the middle of the day and starts to decline after 3.00 pm. Solar PV’s share of demand on Thursday 16th January is
summarised in the following chart.

Click here to view the full briefing note

MEDIA RELEASE – 2 million reasons for celebration: one big cause for concern

The REC Agents Association – a national industry body for companies creating renewable energy certificates – has welcomed the installation of the 2 millionth small scale renewable system under the Renewable Energy Target (RET) but has expressed concerns about the future of the successful scheme.

“The Renewable Energy Target has been extraordinarily successful, helping 5 million Australians put solar on their roofs,” said Ric Brazzale, President of the REC Agents Association.

“Notwithstanding the success of the RET, the solar market is in decline following cuts to government support programs and uncertainty about the Renewable Energy Target” said Mr Brazzale.  “Any move to cut the Renewable Energy Target will lead to further job losses and company closures across the country.”

A recent report by the REC Agents Association showed a 22% drop in the number of solar PV systems installed over the past 12 months, as well as a 20% decline in the solar hot water market.

More than 3,400 jobs could go over the next 12 months from a high of 18,500 employees and many more jobs will go if the Renewable Energy Target is cut following a review this year.

The decline in the solar market has 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 0.4% of a typical household quarterly bill. For 5 million Australians, solar is substantially reducing their power bills.

“The Renewable Energy Target is working and needs to be maintained”, said Mr Brazzale. “It is a low cost means of cutting carbon emissions and creating clean energy jobs for the future.”

More information on the REC Agents Association can be found at www.recagents.org.au

For comment, contact Ric Brazzale on 0419 522 659.

9 January 2014

The official media release can be found here

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.

RAA Briefing Paper on GST for Environmental Certificates

Applicability of GST on environmental certificates (STCs, VEECs and ESCs) has at times been a difficult issue for the solar and energy efficiency industry. There has often been confusing and contradictory information about in the market place.

RAA has been in discussions with the ATO to assist members and other industry participants develop an understanding of the ATO’s requirements and to illustrate this by way of an example.

Together with the ATO, RAA have developed  a flow diagram that illustrates the transactions in a typical process whereby the customer / system owner is registered for GST. This is included as an attachment to this Briefing Paper and has been deemed to be compliant by the ATO.

 Read the flow diagram here: raa-briefing-paper-gst-jul-13 

Read More…

Australian Families Building Australia’s Clean Energy Future thanks to the RET

New RAA research confirms Australian families are laying the foundations for Australia’s clean energy future, with 1.5 million households (equaling four million Australian’s) installing solar hot water and solar panels – mostly in rural and regional areas and in the mortgage belts of our big cities.

RAA Research Note 3 – Geographical analysis of solar systems under the Renewable Energy Target

Geographical analysis of solar systems under the RET

Link to view the full research note on the geographical analysis of solar systems under the RET

RAA Research Note 2 – Understanding the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme

Understanding the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme

Link to view the full research note on understanding the SRES

RAA response to Senate Select Committee on Electricity Prices – 14th Sep 2012

REC AGENTS ASSOCIATION RESPONSE TO SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ELECTRICITY PRICES.

Link to view RAA full response to Senate Select Committee on Electricity Prices.

RAA Submission to the RET Review

REC AGENTS ASSOCIATION RESPONSE TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE AUTHORITY’S STATUTORY RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGET REVIEW SEPTEMBER 2012.

Link to view RAA full response to the Climate Change Authority’s Statutory Renewable Energy Target Review.