- The ACT's 100% renewable electricity target
- How does the ACT achieve 100% renewable electricity?
- Renewable electricity supported through the ACT's large feed-in tariff scheme
- ACT rooftop solar generation
- The ACT's share of national renewable electricity
- Future focus: Beyond 100% renewable electricity
- Providing support and assistance to households
- More information
The ACT's Sustainable Energy Policy focuses on clean energy. The ACT met its 100% renewable electricity (PDF 1.0 MB) target in 2020. Renewable energy development also positions the Territory at the forefront of the 21st Century sustainable knowledge economy. You can find out more about our renewable energy program in this short video.
The ACT's 100% renewable electricity target
In 2020, the ACT achieved its goal to source 100% of its electricity from renewable generators.
The ACT's 100% renewable electricity target was the most ambitious renewable electricity target in Australia. It delivers nearly all of the greenhouse gas emission reduction needed for the ACT to reach its nation-leading target of a 40 per cent reduction on 1990 levels by 2020. Tasmania is the only other Australian State or Territory to achieve 100% renewable electricity to date.
How does the ACT achieve 100% renewable electricity?
The ACT’s electricity is sourced via a range of renewable electricity generators, such as solar and wind. These generators come in different scales depending on how much energy they can produce. For instance, local large-scale generators include Mugga Lane Solar Park, Royalla Solar Farm, Williamsdale Solar Farm and Royalla Solar Farm. Local small rooftop solar and medium scale generators (<200kW) comes from over 30,000 ACT homes and businesses which have solar panels. The combined capacity of renewable electricity generation capacity in the ACT now exceeds 150 megawatts (MW).
Some additional information regarding the schemes that underpin the ACT’s 100% renewable electricity target are outlined below.
Renewable electricity supported through the ACT's large feed-in tariff scheme
The ACT’s large-scale solar and wind energy auctions have secured 841MW of renewable energy supply, providing 100% of the ACT’s electricity needs by 2020.
The output comes from 11 different wind and solar farms in the ACT, NSW, Victoria and South Australia that were awarded large feed-in tariff entitlements through a series of innovative reverse auctions conducted by the ACT Government between 2012 and 2020. An additional 2 windfarms are currently in development following the renewables auction held in 2020 and are scheduled to become operational in 2022 and 2024.
The auctions awarded 10-20 year feed-in tariff entitlements under which the ACT electricity distributor pays successful renewable generators the difference between their wholesale electricity market earnings and their feed-in tariff prices.
Each contract establishes a 'strike price', which is set over the 10-20 year contract period. Under our program, the ACT electricity distributor, Evoenergy, pays each generator for their energy produced based on the difference between the current wholesale price (which varies every 5 minutes) and the strike price.
When wholesale electricity prices are low, this requires Evoenergy to pay the generator, and when electricity prices are high, the generator pays Evoenergy.
This arrangement results in more certain revenue for the generators and helps to shield ACT consumers from high electricity prices.
Evoenergy passes costs on to ACT electricity consumers, and these are included as part of the distribution cost on an electricity bill alongside the costs of building and maintaining poles and wires.
The innovation of the auctions was recognised by awards given by the Banksia Foundation in 2014 and the Australian Institute of Public Administration in 2017. The ACT's approach has since been adopted by the Victorian, Queensland and Commonwealth governments in the design of similar schemes.
ACT rooftop solar generation
Over 30,000 ACT homes and businesses have solar panels, including about 15 per cent of all ACT households. Their combined capacity now exceeds 100 megawatts (MW).
Approximately 10,000 rooftop solar systems are supported by the small-medium feed-in tariff scheme that operated in the ACT between 2009 and 2011. Over 20,000 rooftop solar systems have been installed since 2011, which have been supported by electricity retailer-led incentive schemes.
Details can be found in the Annual feed-in tariff reports.
If you have a rooftop solar generator registered with the now closed ACT Government Premium Feed-in Tariff Scheme and have questions in relation to the contract, please contact Evoenergy as the administrator of the Scheme.
The ACT's share of national renewable electricity
This source includes the renewable electricity that ACT electricity retailers are obliged to purchase under the national Large Renewable Energy Target (LRET) scheme.
Also included is the ACT's share of output from renewable electricity generators that existed before the Large Renewable Energy Target scheme began in 2001. These are all hydro schemes, and most are part of the Snowy Hydro scheme ('below-baseline' generation).
Future Focus: Beyond 100% renewable electricity
Our commitment to act on climate change does not stop at 100% renewable electricity. Our plan is to efficiently maintain a 100% renewable electricity supply and transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is fair and equitable, cost effective and maintains the reliability of the energy system.
Through the 10th Parliamentary and Governing Agreement, the ACT Government has committed to deliver at least 250MW of new ‘large-scale’ battery storage distributed across the ACT, and to develop a transition plan to decarbonise the ACT’s natural gas distribution network.
Providing support and assistance to households
By reducing energy consumption, consumers not only reduce their energy bills, but also actively participate in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining the ACT’s 100% renewable electricity commitment.
The ACT Government provides a range of support and assistance to help consumers reduce their energy consumption. These include:
- The Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme. Through this scheme ActewAGL Retail provides support for energy saving, including replacement of inefficient appliances.
- Actsmart offers ACT energy consumers free energy savings advice, including free energy assessments and advice on rebates and programs available.
- The Sustainable Household Scheme will provide Canberrans with access to zero-interest loans of between $2,000 to $15,000 to support eligible ACT households to live more comfortably, reduce emissions and their energy costs.
The ACT Government also provides a range of support to ACT customers who need assistance in meeting their energy costs:
- A Utilities Concession of $750 is available to eligible households. For 2021-22 there will be a further one-off amount of $50 making the total $800. For information on this concession and how to apply visit: https://www.revenue.act.gov.au/community-assistance/utilities-concession
- The ACT Government and participating energy retailers support the Utilities Hardship fund which provides $100 vouchers to eligible customers. Participating retailers in 2020-21 were ActewAGL Retail, Origin Energy, EnergyAustralia and Red Energy. This program will be extended to 2021-22. Contact your energy retailer to find out about this program.
- The Government is also providing support for certain community organisations to assist vulnerable consumers to better understand and manage their energy consumption and bills.
- ACT's renewable electricity programs, including reviews and cost data
- Canberra 100% Renewable - Leading Innovation with 100% Renewable Energy by 2020 (PDF 1.0 MB)
- Email EnergyPolicy@act.gov.au