ACT 100 per cent renewable in four years

The ACT has set a goal of sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity needs from renewables by 2020, five years earlier than previously planned.

Announced by Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Simon Corbell, the new target is the result of the ACT securing enough renewable energy to meet its previous 90 per cent target by 2020 this year.

The Minister said ACT is reaping the environmental and economic benefits of decarbonisation.

“Not only are we providing clean power for the people of Canberra, we are also delivering jobs and economic benefits by securing $400 million in local investment through our reverse auction process,” he said.

The total cost of this effort is expected to reach around $5.50 per household per week in 2020 before reducing. However, Minister Corbell said the majority of this cost will be offset by energy savings from mandated energy efficiency measures.

The total cost is expected to peak at around $5.50 per household per week in 2020 before declining. This cost will be largely offset by energy savings from mandated energy efficiency measures.

The government’s reverse auction process has driven down the price of wind and solar energy to record lows. These reductions mean the latest estimated price for 100 per cent renewables is in line with the estimates set out in Climate Change Action Plan 2 for achieving 90 per cent renewables.

To reach its new 100 per cent goal, the ACT government will expand its current large-scale renewable energy auction process from 109MW to 200MW.

“Taking the extra step at this time lets us take advantage of favourable market conditions to lock in great long-term prices for Canberrans,” Minister Corbell said.

Royalla Solar Farm in the Territory and Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm in Bendigo, Victoria are among projects already generating clean electricity for the ACT, with Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia yet to come online.