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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

23 July 2002

Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets Encouraging New Investment

The Howard Government’s Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, (MRET), has been highly successful in encouraging new renewable energy investments, according to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp.

Dr Kemp said that despite claims to the contrary, the Commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Regulator continues to receive enquiries about power station development and applications for accreditation.

“It is encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the Australian EcoGeneration Association and others for new investment, and there appears to be a significant amount of development committed to or under investigation at this present time,” Dr Kemp said.

“The clear intent of MRET is to encourage new investment in both existing and new generators. Both have a role to play in achieving the 2010 target of an extra 9,500 gigawatt hours annually, which is enough power to meet the residential needs of a city the size of Sydney.

“Existing power stations were deliberately included on the grounds that in some cases it would be economically more efficient to encourage existing generators to increase their output of renewable energy, either through better resource management, increasing efficiency of their generating equipment or by taking advantage of market opportunities to generate and sell power from renewable sources.

“The involvement of existing generators, above their 1997 baseline levels, also sends a strong signal for generators to maintain their equipment in order to achieve above-baseline levels of generation.

“It needs to be understood that Renewable Energy Certificates are only available for renewable power above the 1997 baseline.

“The success of the target is underlined by the fact that the large majority of the power stations under development at the moment are wind generators, and no new large-scale hydro plants have been proposed to date.

“The Howard Government will continue to encourage clean, renewable energy. A scheduled review of MRET due next year will consider the achievements of the scheme’s first phase and consider changes that might further encourage growth and investment in the renewable energy industry, including possible increases in the target,” Dr Kemp said.

Media contact:
Catherine Job 02 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Commonwealth of Australia