NEG to deliver ‘no meaningful emissions reduction’

The Federal Government’s national energy guarantee will deliver “no meaningful emission reduction” unless the proposed target is tightened, according to the latest data.

In its monthly Renewable Energy Index, Green Energy Markets has revealed the capacity of large-scale renewable energy projects under construction in Australia already exceeds what is required to achieve the government’s 2030 targets.

“According to economic modelling undertaken by Frontier Economics for the Energy Security Board, from 2017 onwards we’d need to install 9271MW of wind and solar in the NEM to achieve the government’s 2030 emission reduction target,” the report said.

“Yet we already have 9691MW of projects that will be delivered in the NEM based on what has been committed to construction and what is being contracted under procurement processes currently underway.”

According to the report, rooftop solar installations were at the highest monthly total ever in March.

“Installs in the first three months of 2018 are running at levels 50 per cent above those anticipated in economic modelling of the National Energy Guarantee,” the report said.

March installs set a new monthly record of 127MW, which will produce enough energy to power more than 35,000 homes.

Capacity installed in the first quarter of this year is 56 per cent higher than the same time last year, which was a record-breaking year for capacity.

“The rate of rooftop installs so far this year is about 50 per cent higher than what had been assumed in the economic modelling of the National Energy Guarantee,” the report said.

“On top of the underestimates of large-scale renewables, it suggests that the emission reduction target could be substantially strengthened at minimal economic cost.”

The report also found the amount of renewable energy to be generated in 2020 is set to exceed the original 41,000GWh renewable energy target that was in place before cuts made under the Abbott Government.

Then Prime Minister Tony Abbott scrapped the target after claiming it was too difficult to achieve.

“In spite of investment collapsing over that period, the industry has staged a dramatic recovery since 2016 and Australia now appears set to build enough new projects to generate more than 41,000GWh in 2020,” the report said.

State and territory ministers will meet with Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on Friday to decide whether to go ahead with the National Energy Guarantee.