Wind generation speeds up on RET support

Wind generation increased 22 per cent in 2013, supported by the renewable energy target, and its share of overall renewables generation is only going to grow.

The Renewable Energy Target has supported a significant growth in wind energy projects with generation in 2013 increasing by 22 per cent.

Green Energy Markets has analysed the creation of Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) under the RET based on data available from the REC-Registry as at May 20. 

While wind was the leading renewable fuel creating LGCs, the power stations that created the most LGCs in both 2012 and 2013 were hydro generation plants in Tasmania. 

The Poatina and Gordon hydro power stations in Tasmania are the largest creators of Large-scale Generation Certificates over the last two years. Sixteen of the largest 20 LGC generators in 2013 were wind farms. 

Wind is the largest creator of LGCs again accounting for 60 per cent in 2013 with hydro the next biggest at 21 per cent.

Graph for Wind generation speeds up on RET support

The Poatina and Gordon power stations are baseline generators that were in operation on January 1, 1997. Pre-existing power stations are able to produce LGCs to the extent that their power generation is above their 1997 baseline. Both Gordon and Poatina considerably exceeded their 1997 baselines and will produce significant quantities of LGCs for generation in 2013. Power stations have until December 31 this year to produce LGCs for 2013 generation and we expect that more LGCs are still to be created for these power stations. 

The Macarthur wind farm in western Victoria (420 MW) is the largest wind farm in Australia and became fully operational in January last year. Macarthur has only produced a modest amount of LGCs to date and we expect that it will eventually produce more than 1 million LGCs for 2013 generation and will be second to only Gordon Hydro in terms of the most LGCs created. 

In total, 13.9 million LGCs were created for electricity generated in 2013 (as at May 20). We estimate that there are still 1.9 million LGCs yet to be created for 2013 generation, largely from wind and baseline hydro generators (refer to Table 2). 

We estimate that a total of 15.8 million LGCs will eventually be created by power stations for 2013 generation, a 23 per cent increase on 2012 levels. 

Graph for Wind generation speeds up on RET support

Ric Brazzale is president of the REC Agents Association and managing director of Green Energy Trading.

*The analysis above is an extract from Green Energy Market’s Renewable Power Station Report (June 2014) that is available on a subscription basis. Refer to www.greenmarkets.com.au