Overview of renewable energy in NSW
Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative
The Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative was created to help break down barriers to clean energy projects.
Through this initiative the government supported 10 innovative projects.
Clean Energy Strategies for Business
The Clean Energy Strategies for Business Program provided funding for 20 NSW businesses to develop strategies and identify opportunities to achieve 100% renewable energy or emissions reduction.
Renewable Energy Target
The NSW Government supports the Australian Government's Renewable Energy Target (RET), which has helped drive renewable energy generation and investment in NSW. Since its introduction in 2001, the state has received around $9.5 billion in renewable energy investments, assisted by the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan
The RET ensures that at least 33,000 gigawatt hours of electricity comes from large-scale renewable energy by 2020. A financial incentive is created to generate renewable energy by obliging liable entities (usually energy retailers) to purchase and surrender generation certificates according to the volume of electricity they acquire each year. Since 2011, the scheme has been divided into two parts:
- The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target encourages large-scale renewable energy through Large-scale Generation Certificates. The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target will increase until 2020, when it will reach 33,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy generation or around 23% of expected consumption in 2020.
- The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme offers incentives for households, small businesses and community groups to install eligible small-scale renewable energy systems (such as solar panels) through Small-scale Technology Certificates.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is an independent Australian Government authority, supporting innovations that improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia.
ARENA has $2 billion in funding until 2022 to invest in projects with the aim of fast tracking the commercialisation of renewable energy and diversifying Australia's energy mix. And in 2016-17, NSW received more than $450 million from ARENA for projects, more than any other state.
ARENA welcomes applications for funding for:
- Advancing Renewables Program – supports a broad range of development, demonstration and pre-commercial deployment projects that could potentially lower costs and increase renewable energy technology use in Australia.
- Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund – provides management expertise and makes equity investments in early-stage Australian renewable energy companies to help them overcome capital constraints, develop technologies, increase skills and forge international connections.
- Innovation Fund – helps emerging Australian technologies and businesses accelerate Australia’s move to a renewable energy economy.
Every ARENA project includes a knowledge sharing plan to improve industry capability and streamline the process for delivering renewable energy projects.
Clean Energy Finance Corporation
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is a statutory authority established by the Australian Government under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 that helps overcome market barriers and mobilise investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies through financing.
The CEFC focuses on projects and technologies at the later stages of development, which means they have a positive expected rate of return and the capacity to service and repay capital.
Each financial year for five years from July 2013, the CEFC is given access to $2 billion to invest in the clean energy sector. By June 2017, the CEFC had committed $900 million (60%) of funding to NSW projects.
The Industry Capability Network (ICN) is a business network that introduces Australian companies to large projects. Since it started 30 years ago, ICN has helped local suppliers find $30 billion worth of contracts.
ICN works with local suppliers and project managers, including those from the renewable energy sector, to help make the procurement process more efficient, with initiatives such as the ICN Gateway, a comprehensive online system which connects projects with suppliers.