The ACT might be one of the smallest of Australia’s states and territories – but it punches well above its weight when it comes to renewable energy.
Our latest Territory Trailblazer report profiles the ACT’s leadership on renewable energy, illustrating the positive impact that one small territory can have in a few short years with political will and smart policy design.
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1. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is on track to acquire enough large-scale renewable energy to meet its 100% renewable electricity target by 2020.
- The ACT is the first place in Australia where both major political parties have provided bipartisan support to a state or territory based target.
- The ACT will reduce emissions by 3 million tonnes in 2020 by sourcing renewable instead of fossil fuelled electricity to meet the Territory’s needs.
2. Households in the ACT currently pay the lowest electricity prices in Australia.
- The ACT’s “reverse auction” process has delivered record low wind and solar electricity prices, and in doing so has provided transparency around the cost of renewable electricity in Australia.
- The prices for successful wind projects under the ACT’s process are equal to or lower than prices for electricity from new coal and gas plants in Australia.
- The additional cost to households and small to medium enterprises peaks in 2020 at around $5.50 a week, with the ACT’s electricity prices remaining among the lowest in Australia.
- To complement the renewable energy target, the ACT has introduced the Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme expected to save $3.20 per household per week in 2020. Energy efficiency can offset the small price increases from investing in renewable energy sources.
3. The ACT’s support for the renewable energy sector during extended federal uncertainty proved critical for Australia’s renewable sector.
- To date the ACT has supported the development of 640MW of large scale solar and wind capacity over four years.
- At the end of 2015, the only wind projects under construction in Australia were those supported by the ACT’s policy.
- While more than 5,000 jobs in renewable energy were lost nationally between 2012- 2015, the ACT’s policy will create more than 1,000 jobs in construction across the ACT, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.
4. The ACT is also breaking new
ground in public support for
- The ACT is leading the country
in battery storage by supporting
the installation of 36MW of
energy storage across more
than 5,000 households and
businesses by 2020 – the
largest battery storage rollout
5. Other Australian states and
cities can learn from the ACT’s
- Within five years, the ACT has
shown that setting a seriously
ambitious renewable energy
target, is not only affordable
but is also achievable, and
creates jobs and investment
for the Territory.
- While recognising the ACT’s
advantages – being small in
size and population and having
no major industries or fossil
fuelled generation – other
states and cities can learn
from its approach to sourcing
large amounts of renewable
electricity in a short period of
time, while delivering a range
of economic and community
- Other states such as Victoria,
New South Wales and
Queensland are already
following the ACT’s lead
using reverse auctions to
meet renewable energy
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