Category: Facts About Solar

RAAs response to Judith Sloan’s article in the Australian on 25.02.2014

Click here to read the full media release

The REC Agents Association (RAA) is an industry body representing the creators and traders of renewable energy certificates across Australia. The RAA wishes to respond to Judith Sloan’s article in The Australian on Tuesday 25 February 2014 titled “Junking Energy Target is Right” to correct some of the statements made in that article as noted in bullet point form below:

• The December 2013 Report on Electricity Price Trends by the Australian Electricity Market Commission clearly shows the different components to the retail costs of electricity with network costs (the cost for transmission and
distribution) being by far the largest components of domestic electricity bills 1.

• The cost of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) is nowhere near the $60 – $300 a tonne. Certificates for a megawatt hour (MWh) for the small scheme are capped at $40 and have traditionally been bought and sold on the secondary market for a substantial discount to this capped price. Certificates for a MWh of large scale renewable energy are also capped but at $65.

• The impact of renewable energy on the wholesale electricity price is that it places a downward effect on the electricity price not an increase as claimed. Solar installations generate electricity during the day when demand is highest and thus reduces the demand for electricity from the national electricity market. Further, the additional renewable generation from renewable power stations such as wind provides increased competition for fossil fuel
generators. This means that higher cost fossil fuel generators do not have to be dispatched which reduces the wholesale price for all customers.

• The RET provides partial exemptions from liability to the Energy Intensive Trade Exposed Industry (EITEIs) between 60-80% of their RET liability. EITEIs have also benefited from lower wholesale electricity prices due to the
RET.

• Key findings from the RAA analysis are that the cost of the RET that gets passed through to residential customers currently amounts to a modest 1.12 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) or 4 per cent of the average residential
electricity bill. The cost of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) that supports residential solar currently accounts for 0.54 cents per kWh or 2 per cent of a customer’s bill and is expected to more than halve over the next two years to account for less than 1 per cent. The reduction in the wholesale price due to the RET is estimated to be 0.67 cents per kWh. In the case of the SRES the reduction in the wholesale price cancels out the future cost increase that gets passed through to customers 2.

1 http://www.aemc.gov.au/Media/docs/2013-Residential-Electricity-Price-Trends-Final-Report-723596d1-fe66-43da-

2 http://www.recagents.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/RAA-Impact-of-SRES-on-Power-prices-Final.pdf

Click here to read the full media release

RAA report on impact of the Renewable Energy Target on power prices

The full report can be found here

Media release –  Small-scale renewable energy target zero cost to householders

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) will have a zero net cost impact on household power bills, according to an analysis released today by the REC Agents Association (RAA), a national industry body representing companies that trade in renewable energy certificates.

The cost of the SRES, which helps families install solar panels and solar hot water systems, is expected to halve over the next two years to less than 1% of a power bill. The reduction in wholesale electricity prices delivered by the SRES cancels out any related cost increase that gets passed through to customers.

“This analysis destroys the myth that the Renewable Energy Target is a major driver of soaring power bills”, said Ric Brazzale, President of RAA. “The Renewable Energy Target is low cost and high achieving. It must be maintained to finish its job.”

“The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme deserves a gold medal”, said Fiona O’Hehir, Vice-President of RAA. “It has helped 5 million Australians cut their power bills by installing solar and has created 15,000 jobs and will do so at zero cost to households or the Federal Budget. That is an extraordinary achievement.”

The RAA analysis uses Australian Energy Market Commission data to show the make up of power bills and the contribution of the two parts of the RET, the SRES and the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET). The analysis is a significant, early contribution to the RET Review, announced by the Government on Monday. Cost will be a major focus of the RET Review.

Key findings from the RAA analysis are:

  •  The cost of the Renewable Energy Target that gets passed through to residential customers currently amounts to a modest 1.12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) or 4 per cent of the average residential electricity bill.
  •  The cost of the SRES currently accounts for 0.54 cents per kWh or 2 per cent of a customer’s bill and is expected to more than halve over the next two years to account for less than 1 per cent.
  •  The RET puts downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices and as a result wholesale prices are considerably lower than expected. The reduction in the wholesale price due to the RET is estimated to be 0.67 cents per kWh.
  •  In the case of the SRES the reduction in the wholesale price cancels out the future cost increase that gets passed through to customers.

“RAA’s analysis shows regulated transmission and distribution cost has been the biggest driver of rising power prices to date and is expected to be the major contributor to rising power prices in the future”, said Mr Brazzale.

Comment: contact Ric Brazzale 0419 522 659 or Fiona O’Hehir 0419 176 167

The full report can be found here

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

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.

Gold Medal for Australian Solar

New data released today by the REC Agents Association (RAA) shows nearly four million Australians have solar panels or solar hot water on the roofs of their homes and businesses. “Australia has won the gold medal for household solar”, said Ric Brazzale, President of RAA (a body that represents  creators and traders of renewable energy certificates).

“Australia installed more residential rooftop solar panel systems in 2011 than any other country.” Read More…