780MW for small solar in 2013 - Clean Energy Regulator

The Clean Energy Regulator has just released its 2013 target for small-scale renewable energy that electricity retailers must meet - 35.7m certificates. For solar PV this will require 780 megawatts of capacity to be installed.

The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) announced on Friday that the STC target for 2013 will be 35.7 million certificates which equates to a Small-scale Technology Percentage (STP) of 19.7 per cent. Total eligible electricity sales amounted to 181,200 GWh which means that liable parties need to surrender Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) equivalent to nearly 20 per cent of their sales.

The target of 35.7 million STCs comprises 20.7 million STCs expected to be created in 2013 plus 15 million STCs that were registered and surplus as at 31 December 2012. This was slightly higher than the market expected, leading to an increase in the spot price of about $1.00.  The higher target and increasing STC price, both affect the level of solar installations expected in 2013.  Our estimate is that 2.5 million STCs will be from SWH creation and that 18.2 million will be from solar PV. 

The level of PV capacity to be installed in 2013 amounts to approximately 780 MW, a 21 per cent reduction from the 992 MW estimate for 2012 installations. In terms of systems this amounts to 252,000 installations in 2013 compared to 335,000 in 2012, a 25 per cent reduction.

The STC target in effect factors in more than a 20 per cent reduction in the level of PV system installations compared to 2012.

Non-binding estimates were also provided for 2014 and 2015 which amounted to 16.7 million and 15.8 million STCs respectively. These estimates provide for PV installations of between 650 and 680 MW per annum.

Refer to CER’s website (http://ret.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/For-Industry/Liable-Entities/Small-scale-Technology-Percentage/stp) for the Regulator’s announcement and the modelling reports that the STC target was based upon. Green Energy Trading’s associated company Green Energy Markets was one of the consultants that undertook the modelling exercise.

Ric Brazzale is the CEO of Green Energy Markets, a research and advisory business with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renewable energy and distributed generation, and improving energy efficiency.

This article was originally published by Green Energy Trading, republished with permission.