ACT dreams big on renewable energy

It might be Australia’s smallest territory, but the ACT has the country’s biggest plans for renewable energy.

The ACT has pledged to get 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy by the end of the decade, one-upping its own commitment of meeting this goal by 2025.

It has been sourcing renewable energy through a series of reverse auctions, in which renewable energy developers bid to build projects at the lowest possible price.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Simon Corbell said recent analysis showed the ACT could achieve the 100 per cent goal by 2020, with a cheaper cost per household than was originally predicted for its previous target of 90 per cent by this date.

“The government’s innovative reverse auction process has driven down the price of wind and solar energy to record lows,” Mr Corbell said.

Clean Energy Council spokesperson Mark Bretherton said the ACT reverse auctions had helped to keep the renewable energy industry going following a period of investment uncertainty when the national Renewable Energy Target was being reviewed.

“The vision and leadership shown by the ACT Government in encouraging new wind, solar and storage projects really is remarkable, and they have also been very savvy in securing some of the best renewable energy sites in the country,” he said.

“Other states such as Queensland have adopted reverse auctions to encourage more renewable energy at the lowest possible cost, and there is no better form of flattery than that.”

The ACT also introduced legislation this week that would see it adopt a target of net zero emissions by 2050, in line with the international climate agreement reached in Paris last year.