Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Select Legislative Instrument 2011 (No. 177)

Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000

Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 4)

The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (the Act), as amended by the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Act 2010 (the Amendment Act) establishes the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme to encourage electricity generation from eligible energy sources. The RET is designed to ensure that the equivalent of 20 per cent of Australia's electricity supply is generated from renewable sources by 2020. From 1 January 2011, the RET has operated as two parts - the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

Under the Act, wholesale electricity purchasers ('liable entities') are required to contribute to the RET in proportion to their share of the national wholesale electricity market. The Act provides for the creation of renewable energy certificates by renewable energy generators, small generation units (SGUs) and solar water heaters. One certificate generally represents one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity from eligible energy sources.

Section 161 of the Act provides that the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing all matters required or permitted by the Act, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.

The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 (the Principal Regulations) provide an administrative framework to implement the Act in relation to power station accreditation, eligibility requirements for renewable energy sources, eligibility requirements for solar water heaters and SGUs, and calculation methods for determining the number of certificates.

Subsection 26 (1) of the Act provides that certificates are not valid until they have been registered. Subsection 26 (3A) of the Act provides that certificates may only be registered if the Regulator has been paid the fee (if any) prescribed by the regulations for the registration of the certificate. Details of the relevant fee are currently prescribed by subregulation 28 (3) of the Principal Regulations.

The Regulations amend the Principal Regulations to increase the fee, from $0.08 to $0.47, for the registration of small-scale technology certificates (STCs) created from small generation units (SGUs) under the SRES component of the RET scheme. The fee is administered by the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator. The purpose of the fee increase is to partially recover the costs of the on-site component of an inspection regime for SGUs that was introduced into the Act in mid-2010.

Details of the Regulations are included in the Attachment.


The Regulations were informed by submissions to the public consultation, performed as part of implementation of the cost recovery process, which sought feedback on the technical/operational aspects of the fee increase.

Authority: Section 161 of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000


Details of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 4)

Regulation 1 - Name of Regulations

This regulation provides that the title of the Regulations is the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 4).

Regulation 2 - Commencement

This regulation specifies the Regulations commence from the day after registration on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

Regulation 3 - Amendment of Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001

This regulation provides for Schedule 1 to the Regulations to amend the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001.

Schedule 1 - Amendment

Item [1] - Subregulation 28 (3)

Item [1] amends subregulation 28 (3) to implement a fee increase.

The fee increase relates to the registration of small-scale technology certificates (STCs) for small generation units (SGU), such as small-scale solar panels, under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme component of the Renewable Energy Target scheme. The fee increase only applies to SGU STCs created on or after 17 October 2011. The registration fee for remains unchanged for SGU STCs created prior to 17 October 2011. The registration fee for STCs for solar and heat pump hot water systems remains unchanged.

For the registration of an STC for an SGU created after 17 October 2011 only, the fee increases by $0.39, from its current rate of $0.08 to $0.47. The additional fee is to be used to partially recover the costs for the SGU inspection regime from 2011-12.

The first 250 certificates created by an entity is the threshold under which a registration fee is not required remains unchanged. This threshold is intended to protect individual householders who choose to create STCs themselves from additional administrative expenses.


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