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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6254

Mr COMBET (Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science and Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change) (9:37 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Renewable Energy (Electricity) (Charge) Amendment Bill 2009 amends the Renewable Energy (Electricity) (Charge) Act 2000 and, together with the related Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009, implements the expanded national Renewable Energy Target Scheme to deliver on the government’s commitment to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity is supplied from renewable sources by 2020.

This bill increases the level of the shortfall charge under the expanded Renewable Energy Target Scheme from $40 per megawatt-hour to $65 per megawatt-hour. The shortfall charge encourages compliance with the Renewable Energy Target Scheme, as liable parties who do not meet their obligations to purchase renewable energy certificates will need to pay this charge. Increasing the shortfall charge to this level will therefore act as an incentive for investment in renewable energy in order to meet the government’s significantly increased renewable energy targets.

The level of the shortfall penalty will be monitored to ensure it remains effective as an incentive for investment in renewable energy.

According to data published by the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator, there has been a consistently high level of compliance with the mandatory renewable energy target since the scheme began in 2001, which means that very few liable parties have, in fact, needed to pay the shortfall charge. The new shortfall charge seeks to encourage affordable deployment of renewable energy through continued high levels of compliance, while taking into account the significant increase in annual targets under the expanded scheme.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Haase) adjourned.