28 July 2012 - Out on the fringe, solar comes of age
UNTIL recently, Tarneit, about 25 kilometres west of the Melbourne CBD, was mostly grazing paddocks, a place without a post office. Now there is barely a cow left. Between the 2006 and 2011 censuses, the population of the outer suburb boomed, tripling to more than 20,000 as the city sprawled and first home buyers snapped up new affordable housing.
The residents of Tarneit are much like those in other developing areas on the city's fringe. As you might expect, they earn less than the average Victorian. Perhaps less predictably, they are also much more likely to have solar panels on their roofs.
While the myth of solar panels as a purely upper-middle-class luxury persists, new data released by the Clean Energy Regulator suggests it is misplaced.
Read the full article here
Source: The Age
17 July 2012 - Solar industry points to success of the RET and calls for its expansion and extension
The Australian solar industry is calling on all Government and political parties for the expansion and extension of the Renewable Energy Target.
Read the full communiqué here
Source: Australian Solar Energy Association (AuSES)
20 June 2012 - Solar energy and energy efficiency major contributors to falling power consumption
Escalating use of solar energy and energy efficiency are making a material contribution to reducing power consumption and reducing wholesale power prices across the National Electricity Market (NEM) according to a new report released by the REC Agents Association (RAA) yesterday.
To read the full media release check out our latest blog here
5 June 2012 - Claiming the 3x Solar Credits Multiplier
The Solar Credits multiplier for small-scale PV, wind and hydro systems is reducing from three to two for eligible systems installed between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013.
Eligible PV installations that have been or will be installed between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012 (and that are not eligible for the 4x multiplier) are able to claim the 3x Solar Credits multiplier.
For Victorian clients, please be advised that the Victorian requirements for Inspection and Certification can be carried out after 30 June 2012 but the system needs to be installed on or before this date to ensure the 3x multiplier can be claimed.
For more information on the Solar Credits multiplier and a summary of eligibility requirements for Solar Credits please visit the Clean Energy Regulator's website
29 May 2012 - Green Energy Trading Director discusses the RET Target
GET Director Ric Brazzale recently spoke with Climate Spectator's Tristan Edis about what he is hoping will come out of the upcoming review of the Renewable Energy Target.
You can view the article at http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/leave-ret-alone and can also view the complete interview transcript here
25 May 2012 - 2011 VEEC Eligibility Period Expiring Soon
Green Energy Trading would like to remind clients that the eligible VEEC creation period for systems installed in 2011 expires 30th June 2012.
In order to ensure VEEC Assignment Forms are submitted to the Regulator in time, please be advised that we require all forms to arrive in the Green Energy Trading office by close of business (5pm AEST) on Friday 1st June 2012.
Please contact our office on (03) 9805 0700 if you have any questions.
26 March 2012 - Clean Energy Regulator and Compliance change
Clean Energy Regulator
The Office of Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) recently announced an important change to the administration of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
As of 2 April 2012 onwards, the ORER will be amalgamated into the Clean Energy Regulator. The responsibilities of the Renewable Energy Regulator will also transfer to the statutory role of the Clean Energy Regulator. The administration of the RET including the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) will remain with the same staff body that is currently administering the schemes.
Green Energy Trading has consequently updated our Assignment Forms to account for this change. We will be sending out new form versions to clients and you can find the latest form versions here.
For more information on the amalgamation see: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/media/whats-new/clean-energy-regulator.aspx
Proof of Purchase required for all SWH Assignment Forms submitted to Green Energy Trading
GET would also like to advise that from 2 April 2012, both proof of purchase and proof of installation documents will now be required to be attached to all SWH Assignment Forms sent to GET.
A proof of purchase is the invoice to the customer and must contain the:
- system owner’s name
- installation address
- system details – brand, model and ideally tank serial number
A proof of installation is the certificate of compliance and should also contain the above information.
This new requirement will be effective from 2 April 2012.
23 March 2012 - Commercial lighting under VEET postponed
At yesterday’s RQR event, Henry Otley, Project Manager VEET Registry, Essential Services Commission, informed us that the introduction of Commercial Lighting to the VEET Scheme has been postponed until the end of April instead of the end of March 2012. We will keep you informed about developments.
24 February 2012 - Changes to Compliance Requirements
Proof of address and system ownership
In order to strengthen perceived compliance inadequacies where payments are made directly to the system owner we now require additional proof of the physical address and ownership details.
A copy of the home owner’s rates notice or utilities bill is now required with each PV, SWH or Residential VEEC Assignment Form submitted to Green Energy Trading from 1st March 2012 when payments are made directly to the home owner or end consumer.
There are no changes to current practices for forms where payments are made to the installer or retailer.
System owner signature
The Office of Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) has determined that certificates can only be assigned once a system has been installed. For a PV system, when it is capable of producing electricity and for a SWH system when it is capable of delivering heated water. This means that the owner of the system cannot sign and date the form until after the system has been installed. Should the form be signed by the system owner before the installation date the certificates will be considered by the ORER to be improperly created.
As a result, GET can no longer process STC assignment forms where the system owner has signed the form prior to the installation date.
GET endeavours to ensure that all forms are compliant with the ORER’s regulations. As such, we may request that some forms be re-signed if they do not comply with their regulations.
If you have any questions regarding this requirement please contact our friendly team on 03 9805 0700.
These new compliance requirements will both be effective from 1st March 2012.
24 February 2012 - VIC Government announces introduction of commercial lighting under VEET
On 24 February 2012, the Victorian Government declared that commercial lighting installations will become an eligible activity for the creation of Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) under the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET). The methodology for creation will be based on the NSW commercial lighting model.
Green Energy Trading (GET) is an Accredited Certificate Provider under the NSW Energy Saving Scheme (ESS) and is able to create Energy Saving Certificates (ESC) for eligible Recognised Energy Saving Activities (RESAs) for Commercial Lighting projects.
For more information on GET’s activities in the NSW ESCs creation for commercial lighting activities, please click here.
Further details on the design of the VEEC commercial lighting activities are expected by the end of March. Keep an eye on our website for updates on the inclusion of commercial lighting in the VEET or contact us at Green Energy Trading on 1300 077 784 or 03 9805 0700.
13 December 2011 - Government Releases Draft Energy White Paper
The Federal Government has released its draft Energy White Paper today.
The Climate Spectator has publised a brief highlight of the Draft Energy White Paper which is really valuable for busy people. Click here for their synopsis.
8 November 2011 - Clean Energy Legislation passed in Senate 36 vs 32
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the passing of the tax was "a major milestone in Australia's efforts to cut carbon pollution and seize the economic and job opportunities of the future''.
"The Gillard Government has today secured a clean energy future for all Australians,'' she said in a joint statement with Treasurer Wayne Swan and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.
The carbon pricing would cut carbon pollution by at least 160 million tonnes a year in 2020 - the equivalent of taking 45 million cars off the road, she said.
"We will do this by putting a price on pollution, fostering renewable energy technologies, encouraging energy efficiency and creating opportunities to reduce pollution on the land.''
Full article Herald Sun plus 10 things you need to know.
3 November 2011 - Debate rages over $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Greg Hunt stated there were serious question marks over risking taxpayers' money to fund renewable energy projects that the private sector will not finance.
A spokesman for Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the fund would play "a vital role in unlocking new private investment into clean energy projects". He said the CEFC would be independent of government, commercially oriented and run by a board of experts headed by Reserve Bank board member Jillian Broadbent.
Full debate in The Australian.
3 November 2011 - Carbon Price Vote due to finalise next week
The Labor government's 18 clean energy bills are likely to pass the parliament by midday next Tuesday after Labor and the Greens agreed to truncate debate.
Full article in click here.
2 November 2011 - Concerns on administration of $10 billion funds available through Clean Energy Finance Corporation
David Paradice, an adviser on the government's $10 billion clean energy fund has acknowledged there will be ''dodgy people'' trying to win green business money from taxpayers, with the US launching a review of its own similar program. A similar program in the US suffered its second high-profile bankruptcy when Beacon Power Corp joined the major solar firm Solyndra in announcing it had gone bust after receiving government loan guarantees. This had forced the White House to announce last week it would review its scheme.
Opposition Finance Mr Robb told The Age yesterday that the US bankruptcies showed what happened when governments ''foolishly throw money at high-risk ventures that the banks wouldn't touch''.
Mr Paradice acknowledged there will be those hoping to gain from the system but procedures will be put in place to stop this with commerically savvy people in charge.
There needed to be commercial people in charge, as opposed to people used to giving out grants, he said.
More information in The Age click here.
2 November 2011 - Coalition Backs ARENA
The Coalition has announced it will support the creation of an Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Opposition resources spokesman Ian Macfarlane last night told parliament the Coalition would not oppose the establishment of ARENA, which is designed to streamline and centralise more than $3 billion in commonwealth support for the renewable energy sector. However, Mr Macfarlane said this "should not be taken as carte blanche approval of some of the programs to be administered by the proposed ARENA".
He went on to say it was "reassuring" that the ARENA bills would provide" at least some semblance of a structure for policy and program development in energy and resources given (the government has) left the industry flying blind with its longstanding incompetence and failure to deliver an energy white paper".
For full report in The Australian click here.
20 October 2011 - SA Package on wind farm policy released
On 19 October 2011, the South Australian Government released a package of wind farm policy reforms and has commenced two parallel consultations on the proposals. The SA Goverment has posted the following information:
These reforms reflect the Government's commitment to restoring certainty to communities and wind investors in light of the judgement by the Environment, Resources and Development Court to uphold an appeal against a wind farm development in the state's south-east earlier this year.
The Government's intent in developing a framework to respond to the current uncertainties and trends is to introduce a policy framework to give effect to the following priorities:
- reinstating Local Government, engaging with their communities, as the pre-eminent sphere of government for assessing wind farm proposals;
- providing clearer policy guidance in relation to wind farm assessment;
- skewing investments away from populated areas and towards sparsely populated areas; and
- restoring certainty to the planning approval process for communities, Councils and investors.
The main elements of the package include:
- Amendment of Council Development Plans to provide greater consistency for assessment of wind farm development applications;
- Requiring that developers manage the visual impact of their developments, which includes requiring that turbines be located at least 1 kilometre from dwellings (unless both parties agree to a lesser distance);
- Removal of the capacity for appeal by third parties against proposals that are consistent with this approach and are located in sparsely populated zones;
- Similarly, removal of third party appeals against proposals in sparsely populated zones where turbines are located more than two kilometres from the periphery of country towns; and
- Restriction of wind farm developers to State Government Crown Development assessment processes. Projects already accepted for Crown Development assessment will not be affected.
The reforms have been developed to achieve a balance with an interest in ensuring that both local communities and industry are served by the overall package.
For more information, click here.
19 October 2011 - Model of cash back for families
The Sydney Morning Herald provides a precis of cash back for families under the Carbon Price and that this will in fact be better than the Gillard Government has calculated after pocketing carbon tax compensation.
The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling has found that tax cuts and higher government pension and family payments will leave households an average of $2.40 a week ahead after the carbon price, rather than only 20¢ as estimated by Treasury.
For further details click here.
19 October 2011 - Tony Abbott denies uncertainty will not raise power prices
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has denied the suggestion by the electricity sector that his threat to repeal Labor's carbon tax will push up household energy bills from next year. This Tuesday he said that the coalition would scrap the proposed $10 billion clean energy corporation. The coalition has warned business not to buy additional permits because if elected it will axe the emissions tax without compensation.
The Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA), whose members include AGL, Energex, Origin and TRUenergy, believes if generators can't purchase forward permits "it will drive up electricity prices unnecessarily".
For further details in the Sydney Morning Herald click here.
10 October 2011 - CBD Energy acquires Neighbourhood Energy
CBD ENERGY - serial deal-maker Gerry McGowan's renewable energy company - has taken its first step into energy retailing by acquiring Victorian retailer Neighbourhood Energy from Alinta Energy. The purchase will make CBD Energy a vertically integrated retailer and generator of renewable energy.
Full article in Sydney Morning Herald click here.
10 October 2011 - Australian Alps will be affected by climate change
It is predicted that the Australian Alps will be seriously affected by climate change as temperatures rise and rainfall drops.
The Caring for our Australian Alps Catchments summary report, commissioned by the Australian Government predicts the region will experience average temperature increases of up to 2.9 degrees and a 24 per cent reduction in precipitation by 2050. A significant reduction in snow cover, more severe fires, droughts and storms, soil erosion and pests will also lead to harsher conditions in the catchment.
For Canberra Times article click here.
7 October 2011 - Turnbull calls for long term thinking and leadership
In an address at the London School of Economics Malcolm Turnbull called for long-term thinking and leadership to compete with China in fields such as climate change. Reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, his comments included "While politicians in the West argue about whether or not climate change is real, in China, the world's largest emitter, billions are being invested in wind, solar and electric vehicles." He also indicated that China is strategically positioning to be at the forefront of the industry.
Parliament is due to vote on the Gillard government's controversial carbon tax next week.
Click here for full article.
6 October 2011 - Extreme temperatures set to be regarded as normal
Research suggests that, over the coming decades, increased temperatures and rainfall will put increased strain on the survival of the Global 200 ecoregions, threatening both plant and animal life.
The Global 200 is a set of ecoregions that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has classified as having exceptional biodiversity. They contain a high concentration of the earth's species. These areas include the Amazon, Lord Howe Island's sub-tropical forests and the north-east Queensland Wet Tropics, (Queensland's tropical rainforests).
Dr Beaumont from Macquarie University stated that within the next 20 years, 12-23 per cent of ecoregions will have a 'normal' monthly temperature regime that would have been classified as extremely hot last century.
In 2007 a study by Steve Williams, director, Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change at James Cook University found that a 1-degree Celsius increase in temperature would cause declines in the range size of most of these species, while a 3.5-degree increase in temperature would result in dramatic declines in the distribution of all 65 species, with 30 losing almost all their primary habitat.
Read more in the Herald Sun article here.
4 October 2011 - Clean Energy Council Director, Kane Thornton on the $10 Billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) pledged under the federal government's carbon price package will use $10 billion of carbon price revenue from big polluters as loans for new, clean energy technologies. It will be overseen by an independent board of finance professionals.
The opinion piece in the Age indicates The CEFC is a sign the federal government understands what is needed by the clean energy industry. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turbocharge the next generation of clean energy technologies and make better use of Australia's world-class sunshine, wind, waves and geothermal hot rocks.
Click here for full article.
4 October 2011 - Senior Scientists back Carbon Tax
It was reported in the age that twelve senior European and American economists and scientists have written to Prime Minister Julia Gillard to congratulate her on policy reforms. The letter stated that the policies will ''put Australia in the vanguard of the development of low-carbon technologies''. The letter, also sent to The Age, said the government's proposal for a cap-and-trade scheme - an emissions trading scheme - would help ensure cuts in greenhouse gas emissions were made at the lowest possible cost to the community.
The government plans a fixed carbon price of $23 per tonne emitted, charged to about 500 companies, to start in July. It would evolve into an emissions trading scheme in 2015.
Click here for the full article.
30 September 2011 - Abbot continues to support RET
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says the coalition will continue its support for the Commonwealth's renewable energy target (RET) despite agreeing it's pushing up power prices.
29 September 2011 - Registration Fee increase for SGUs announced by ORER
The following notification was received from ORER today.
As foreshadowed in May 2011 as part of the 2011/12 Budget and within the consultation paper released on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website on 1 September 2011, regulations for the increase in registration fee from 8 cents to 47 cents for small-scale technology certificates (STCs) for small generation units (SGU) have been made.
The regulations apply the increased fee to all STCs created in the REC Registry for small-scale solar panel, hydro, and wind systems from 17 October 2011.
The registration fee for large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) will remain at 8 cents per certificate. The registration fee for STCs for solar and heat pump hot water systems also remains unchanged.
29 September 2011 - Rush on solar installation expected to drive up electricity prices in SA
ELECTRICITY bills may jump as much as 8 per cent in South Australia because of the rush by households to qualify for the Rann Labor government's feed-in scheme, which is due to end this week. From Saturday, the state's solar feed-in tariffs will be reduced from 44c per kWh of electricity returned to the grid to just 16c per kWh.
For full article click here.
28 September 2011 - Ross Garnaut appears before joint parliamentary committee
ROSS Garnaut passionately defended the carbon tax accusing critics of bringing 'elaborate and extreme' distortions to the public debate.
Professor Garnaut went on to say "Australian public discussion of climate change policy over recent times has been the locus of more elaborate and extreme distortion of reality and abuse of truth than I have seen in an adult lifetime of interest in policy." He also commented, "Our generation risks condemnation in history for the corruption of our democracy embodied in this distortion of reality and abuse of truth."
For full report in the Austalian click here.
23 September 2011 - SA taking up solar in a big way
It was reported today in the Adelaide Advertiser that by the end of the month the number of ETSA-approved solar installations applications will top 100,000 - more than 10 times the amount the State Government forecast when it launched the scheme in 2008. ETSA estimates the power these installations will feed back into the grid will be above 200MW, significantly higher than the 60MW Premier Mike Rann said the scheme would be capped at last year. Solar installers, it was reported, are hectic trying to keep pace with the demand.
Existing customers and new entrants until October 1 will be paid 44c rate until the end of 2027. New entrants who sign up between October and September 30, 2013, will receive a reduced 16c tariff for four years.
Click here for full article.
13 September 2011 - Carbon Tax beings parliamentary journey
The Government's Carbon Tax was introduced in Parliament on 13 September 2011. A total of 18 separate bills make up the package, which the Federal Government is hoping will be passed by the middle of November. It has also been reported that the Senate would sit for an extra week from November 7 to give it time to debate the legislation. A vote in the House of Representative is scheduled to take place on 12 October 2011.
Click here for the report by "The Australian".
12 September 2011 - Solar Shop is placed in receivership
One of Australia's largest sellers of solar panels, Solar Shop, has been placed in receivership. Ferrier Hodgson has been appointed as Receivers. It was reported that the Receiver indicated that the low price of energy certificates played a role in the difficulties faced by the company. It is hoped that the company based in Adelaide and employing 200 people directly can be sold as a going concern.
Click here for the report by the "Adelaide Advertiser'.
9 September 2011 - Trade Recs Australia joins WellBeingGreen
News that Trade Recs Australia appointed a liquidator on August 24 was reported today. Trade Recs is alleged to have a deficiency of funds of more than $570,000. Unfortunately, this follows the news of the collapse of WellBeing Green in August which owed more than $6 million.
Click here for "The Australian" report on Trade Recs Australia.
Click here for "The Australian" report on WellBeingGreen.
8 September 2011 - Changes to legislation to cover certificate traders
Because ORER was not able to act despite receiving complaints about WellBeingGreen a year before the demise of the company, last minute changes to the Carbon Tax will, it is hoped, ensure better regulation of the industry. The new additions will give the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator the power to review and suspend a company's ability to trade in renewable energy certificates if there are doubts about its solvency or conduct.
Click here for "The Australian" report.
3 September 2011 - Commentry on state policies and effect on renewable energy industry
Paddy Manning of the Sydney Morning Herald reflects on state policies and the impact they are having in turning the clock back on renewables. He commented "What is galling is watching the clock turn back on state policies designed to help tackle climate change."
Click here for full report.
30 August 2011 - Wind Farm restrictions announced in Victoria
It was announced that the Victorian Government will amend planning laws to give households power to veto wind turbines within two kilometres of their homes. Turbines will also be banned in the Macedon and McHarg ranges, in the Yarra Valley, on the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas, and within five kilometres of the Great Ocean Road and the Bass Coast. Turbines turbines will also be prohibited within five kilometres of 21 Victorian regional centres.
Read more in "The Age" article here.