Australia's Renewable Energy Target (RET) is a Federal Government policy designed to ensure that at least 33,000 Gigawatt-hour (GWh) of Australia's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

The RET was reviewed by the Government and reduced in June 2015 from the previously legislated 41,000 GWh to 33,000 GWh. The deal was a compromise brokered by the Clean Energy Council following 15 months of lost investment confidence caused by the review of the policy.

While the Clean Energy Council is disappointed by the level of the reduction of the target, an agreement on the RET now opens the way to unlock massive investment and job opportunities in Australia. The RET agreement also removed previously legislated RET reviews which were to occur every two years which compounded the lack of investment confidence.

The RET has been operating since 2001 and is already about halfway to meeting the revised 33,000 GWh target.

The Clean Energy Council's campaign

Our campaign to save the Renewable Energy Target was massive, including more than 300 meetings with politicians, 11 briefing papers and reports and 50+ media releases.

The outlook

They key points from the deal:

  • To deliver the 33,000 GWh target will require approximately 6000 MW of new renewable energy capacity to be built by 2020.
  • The revised target is expected to create more than $40.4 billion worth of investment1 and more than 15,200 jobs2.
  • Between 30-50 major projects are likely to be built in the next five years to meet the target, along with hundreds of medium-scale solar projects from commercial and industrial businesses looking to manage their own electricity production and consumption.
  • The target is enough electricity to power the equivalent of at least 5 million average homes for a year

For further details about the Renewable Energy Target you can read our briefing paper.

About the Renewable Energy Target

The RET consists of two main schemes:

  • the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET), which creates a financial incentive for more and larger renewable energy power stations
  • the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), which encourages owners to install small-scale renewable energy systems such as rooftop solar, solar water heaters, heat pumps, and small-scale wind and hydro systems.

Benefits of the Renewable Energy Target

The Renewable Energy Target doesn't cost much – in fact, in the long run, it will save every Australian household up to $140 on their electricity bill each year. It also provides huge economic and community benefits, especially in regional areas.

Three facts about the Renewable Energy Target:

  1. Australian households will save hundreds of dollars on their power bills thanks to the Renewable Energy Target.
  2. It generates investment in homegrown Australian industry.
  3. It has created tens of thousands of Australian jobs, with thousands more on the way.

Find out more:

1. Clean Energy Council briefing paper - A bipartisan Renewable Energy Target: The huge opportunities for Australia
2. Clean Energy Council briefing paper - A bipartisan Renewable Energy Target: The huge opportunities for Australia