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Renewable Energy (Electricity) Bill 2000

Part 2 Renewable energy certificates

Division 1 Preliminary

8   Overview of Part

This Part provides for the creation, trading and extinguishing of renewable energy certificates.

The certificates are used to avoid or reduce the amount of renewable energy shortfall charge that liable entities who acquire electricity have to pay. The liable entities will generally acquire the certificates by purchasing them.

The certificates are created by people who generate power from accredited power stations using renewable energy sources where the amount generated exceeds the relevant 1997 eligible renewable power base line. The certificates are also created for approved installations of solar hot water heaters.

A person needs to be registered under Division 2 before they can create a certificate.

A power station needs to be accredited under Division 3 before a certificate can be issued in relation to power generated by it.

A certificate must be registered when it is created. Every transfer of the certificate must also be registered.

When a certificate has been surrendered by a liable party, it ceases to be valid.



 

Division 2 Registration of generators etc.

9   Who can register

             (1)  Any person may be registered under this Act.

             (2)  However, if a person’s registration has been suspended under section 30, the person cannot be registered during the period of the suspension.

10   Applying for registration

             (1)  A person may apply to the Regulator to be registered.

             (2)  The application must:

                     (a)  be made in a form and manner required by the Regulator; and

                     (b)  contain any information required by the Regulator; and

                     (c)  be accompanied by any documents required by the Regulator; and

                     (d)  be accompanied by the fee (if any) prescribed by the regulations for the making of applications for registration.

11   Regulator to approve or refuse application

                   If the Regulator receives an application that is properly made under section 10, the Regulator must approve the application unless the person has previously been registered. If the person has previously been registered, the Regulator must refuse the application.

12   Regulator to allocate registration numbers

                   If the Regulator approves an application, the Regulator must allocate the applicant a unique registration number and advise the applicant of the number.



 

Division 3 Accreditation of eligible power stations

13   Application for accreditation

             (1)  A registered person may apply to the Regulator for accreditation, as an accredited power station, of a particular electricity generation system that the person owns.

             (2)  The application must:

                     (a)  be made in a form and manner required by the Regulator; and

                     (b)  specify those parts of the system that the applicant considers are a single power station; and

                    (ba)  list:

                              (i)  the eligible renewable power sources from which power is intended to be generated; and

                             (ii)  the estimated average annual output of each source listed under subparagraph (i); and

                     (c)  contain any other information required by the Regulator; and

                     (d)  be accompanied by any documents required by the Regulator; and

                     (e)  be accompanied by the fee (if any) prescribed by the regulations for the making of applications for accreditation.

             (3)  The Regulator must enter details of the application on the register of applications for accredited power stations.

14   Regulator to determine certain matters

             (1)  If the Regulator receives an application that is properly made under section 13, the Regulator must:

                     (a)  determine which components of the system are to be taken to be a power station for the purposes of this Act; and

                     (b)  determine whether the power station is eligible for accreditation.

             (2)  A power station is eligible for accreditation if:

                     (a)  some or all of the power generated by the power station is generated from an eligible renewable power source; and

                     (b)  the power station satisfies any prescribed requirements.

             (3)  If the Regulator determines that the power station is eligible for accreditation, the Regulator must also determine:

                     (a)  the 1997 eligible renewable power baseline for the power station; and

                     (b)  any energy sources used by the power station that are not eligible renewable energy sources.

             (4)  The Regulator must determine the matters specified in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b), (2)(a) and (b) and (3)(a) and (b) in accordance with guidelines prescribed in the regulations.

             (5)  To avoid doubt:

                     (a)  the regulations may provide that a power station includes components that are integral to the operation of the power station or to the generation of electricity by the power station; and

                     (b)  the 1997 eligible renewable power baseline for a power station may be nil.

15   Regulator to approve or refuse application

                   If the Regulator determines that a power station is eligible for accreditation, the Regulator must approve the application. In any other case, the Regulator must refuse the application.

16   Regulator to allocate identification codes

                   If the Regulator approves an application, the Regulator must allocate the power station a unique identification code and advise the applicant of the code.

17  What is an eligible renewable energy source ?

             (1)  The following energy sources are eligible renewable energy sources :

                     (a)  hydro;

                     (b)  wind;

                     (c)  solar;

                     (d)  bagasse co-generation;

                     (e)  black liquor;

                      (f)  wood waste;

                     (g)  energy crops;

                     (h)  crop waste;

                      (i)  food and agricultural wet waste;

                      (j)  landfill gas;

                     (k)  municipal solid waste combustion;

                      (l)  sewage gas;

                    (m)  geothermal-aquifer;

                     (n)  tidal;

                     (o)  photovoltaic and photovoltaic Renewable Stand Alone Power Supply systems;

                     (p)  wind and wind hybrid Renewable Stand Alone Power Supply systems;

                     (q)  micro hydro Renewable Stand Alone Power Supply systems;

                      (r)  solar hot water;

                      (s)  co-firing;

                      (t)  wave;

                     (u)  ocean;

                     (v)  fuel cells;

                    (w)  hot dry rocks.

             (2)  The following energy sources are not eligible renewable energy sources:

                     (a)  fossil fuels;

                     (b)  waste products derived from fossil fuels.

             (3)  The regulations may prescribe any matter necessary or convenient to give effect to this section.

Division 4 Creation of certificates

Subdivision A Electricity generation

18   Creating certificates for additional renewable electricity

             (1)  A registered person may create a certificate for each whole MWh of electricity generated by an accredited power station that the person operates during a year that is in excess of the power station’s 1997 eligible renewable power baseline.

             (2)  If the amount of electricity generated by an accredited power station that a registered person operates during a year that is in excess of the power station’s 1997 eligible renewable power baseline is less than 1 MWh but greater than or equal to 0.5 MWh, the person may create a 1 MWh certificate in respect of the electricity generated during the year.

             (3)  The amount of electricity generated by an accredited power station is to be worked out in accordance with the regulations.

             (4)  Electricity is to be excluded from all calculations under this section to the extent that the electricity was generated using any energy sources that are not eligible renewable energy sources.

19   When certificates may be created

                   The certificate may be created immediately after the generation of the final part of the electricity in relation to which it is created.

Note:          For offences related to the creation of certificates, see section 24.

20   Electricity generation return

             (1)  A registered person who generates electricity during a year must give an electricity generation return for the year to the Regulator before 14 February in the immediately following year.

             (2)  The return must include details of:

                     (a)  the amount of electricity generated by the person during the year; and

                     (b)  the amount of that electricity that was generated using eligible renewable energy sources; and

                     (c)  the number of certificates created by the person in respect of the electricity generated; and

                     (d)  any other information specified by the regulations.

Subdivision B Solar water heaters

21   When a certificate may be created

             (1)  If a solar water heater is installed on or after 1 April 2001 and the solar water heater displaces non-renewable electricity, certificates may be created after the heater is installed.

             (2)  Whether a solar water heater displaces non-renewable electricity is to be determined in accordance with the regulations.

22   How many certificates may be created

                   The number of certificates (each representing 1 MWh) that may be created for a particular installation of a solar water heater is to be determined in accordance with the regulations.

23   Who may create a certificate

             (1)  The owner of the solar water heater at the time that it is installed is entitled to create the certificate or certificates that relate to the solar water heater.

             (2)  However, the owner may, by written notice, assign the right to create the certificate or certificates to another person. If the owner does this, the owner is not entitled to create the certificate or certificates but the person to whom the right was assigned is entitled to create the certificate or certificates.

             (3)  Despite subsections (1) and (2), a person who is not registered may not create a certificate that relates to the solar water heater.

Subdivision BA Small generation units

23A   When a certificate may be created

             (1)  If a small generation unit is installed on or after 1 April 2001 and the small generation unit displaces non-renewable electricity, certificates may be created after the small generation unit is installed.

             (2)  Whether a small generation unit displaces non-renewable electricity is to be determined in accordance with the regulations.

23B   How many certificates may be created

                   The number of certificates (each representing 1 MWh) that may be created for a particular installation of a small generation unit is to be determined in accordance with the regulations.

23C   Who may create a certificate

             (1)  The owner of the small generation unit at the time that it is installed is entitled to create the certificate or certificates that relate to the small generation unit.

             (2)  However, the owner may, by written notice, assign the right to create the certificate or certificates to another person. If the owner does this, the owner is not entitled to create the certificate or certificates but the person to whom the right was assigned is entitled to create the certificate or certificates.

             (3)  Despite subsections (1) and (2), a person who is not registered may not create a certificate that relates to the small generation unit.

23D  No other certificates to be created

                   A person must not create certificates under Subdivision A in respect of electricity generated by a small generation unit.

Subdivision C Improper creation of certificates

24   Improper creation of certificates—offences

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person creates a certificate; and

                     (b)  the person is not entitled to create the certificate.

Maximum penalty:    1 penalty unit.

             (2)  Subsection (1) is an offence of strict liability.

Note 1:       Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility and Chapter 3 of the Criminal Code contains general principles relating to penalties.

Note 2:       For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

             (3)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person creates a certificate; and

                     (b)  the person is not entitled to create the certificate.

Maximum penalty:    5 penalty units.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility and Chapter 3 of the Criminal Code contains general principles relating to penalties.

             (4)  To avoid doubt, a penalty may be imposed in respect of each certificate in respect of which a person is guilty of an offence.

Example:    An individual who commits an offence under subsection (1) by creating 20 certificates that the individual was not entitled to create would be subject to a maximum penalty of 20 penalty units. If the offence were under subsection (3), the individual would be subject to a maximum penalty of 100 units.

             (5)  In determining whether a person was not entitled to create a certificate, the fact that the certificate has been registered by the Regulator under section 26 is to be disregarded.

Note:          This ensures that a person cannot raise as relevant evidence the fact that a certificate has been registered.



 

Division 5 Form and registration of certificates

25   Form and content of certificates

             (1)  Certificates are to be created in an electronic form approved in writing by the Regulator.

             (2)  Each certificate is to contain:

                     (a)  a unique identification code; and

                     (b)  the electronic signature of the person who created the certificate; and

                     (c)  the date on which the electricity in relation to which the certificate was created was generated; and

                     (d)  the date on which the certificate was created.

             (3)  A certificate’s unique identification code is to consist of the following in the following order:

                     (a)  the registered person’s registration number;

                     (b)  the power station’s identification code;

                     (c)  the year;

                     (d)  a number in an unbroken sequence, that is used for all certificates issued in respect of electricity generated by the power station in that year, that starts at one and has increments of one.

26   Certificates must be registered

             (1)  A certificate is not valid until it has been registered by the Regulator.

             (2)  The Regulator must be advised of the creation of a certificate by electronic transmission in the manner determined, in writing, by the Regulator.

             (3)  When the Regulator is notified that a certificate has been created, the Regulator must determine whether the certificate is eligible for registration.

          (3A)  A certificate is not eligible for registration unless the Regulator has been paid the fee (if any) prescribed by the regulations for the registration of the certificate.

             (4)  If the Regulator determines that a certificate is eligible for registration, the Regulator must create an entry for the certificate in the register of renewable energy certificates and record the person who created the certificate as the owner of the certificate.

             (5)  If the Regulator determines that a certificate is not eligible for registration, the Regulator must notify the person who created the certificate.

             (6)  The Regulator may at any time (whether before or after the registration of a certificate) require the person who created the certificate to provide to the Regulator a written statement containing such information as the Regulator requires in connection with the creation of the certificate. The person who created the certificate must provide the statement within the period (not being a period of less than 14 days) specified by the Regulator.



 

Division 6 Transfer of certificates

27   Certificates may be transferred

                   Certificates that have been registered under section 26 may be transferred to any person.

28   Regulator to be notified

             (1)  The Regulator must be notified of each transfer of a certificate.

             (2)  The notification must be by electronic transmission in the manner determined, in writing, by the Regulator.

          (2A)  The notification must be accompanied by the fee (if any) prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this subsection.

             (3)  When the Regulator is notified, the Regulator must alter the register of certificates to show the transferee as the owner of the certificate.



 

Division 7 Retirement of certificates

29   Retirement of certificates

             (1)  Where a certificate is surrendered under section 44, the certificate ceases to be valid.

             (2)  When a certificate ceases to be valid, the Regulator must alter the entry relating to the certificate in the register of certificates to show that the certificate is no longer valid.



 

Division 8 Suspension of registration

30   Suspension of registration

             (1)  If a registered person has been convicted of an offence under subsection 24(3), the Regulator may suspend the person’s registration for such period (not exceeding 2 years) as the Regulator considers appropriate in all of the circumstances.

             (2)  If a person whose registration has previously been suspended under subsection (1) is convicted of another offence under subsection 24(3), the Regulator may suspend the person’s registration for such period (including permanently) as the Regulator considers appropriate in all of the circumstances.