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Emissions reduction and renewables show resilience in face of COVID-19

3 June 2020

The renewable energy and emissions reduction industries are performing well and showing resilience despite the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest data released today by the Clean Energy Regulator. 

According to the Regulator’s Q1 2020 Quarterly Carbon Market Report, the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and Renewable Energy Target (RET) are expected to deliver at least 57 million tonnes of emissions reduction in 2020, up from 49 million tonnes in 2019.  

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor noted how this report from the Clean Energy Regulator confirms that the Government’s policies are having a positive impact.

“Australia is continuing to be a world leader in renewable energy," said Minister Taylor. 

“It is promising to see that the Clean Energy Regulator has not detected any slowdown in the rate of installation of rooftop solar during the first quarter of 2020. The rooftop solar sector is currently delivering increased capacity of 33 per cent year on year.” 

The first three months of 2020 saw a strong result of 1.3 GW of total new renewable capacity delivered, with 678 megawatts from large-scale power stations and 609 megawatts from small-scale renewables. 

The Clean Energy Regulator also found 837 MW of newly committed large-scale renewable capacity reached financial close throughout the quarter, and the construction of large-scale projects is generally on track with minimal delays.  

The Clean Energy Regulator reports that there are still good prospects that in excess of 2 gigawatts of new projects will reach financial close this year, demonstrating the continued growth in this sector. 

Australia is also on track for a step up in total abatement under the ERF with a 12 per cent increase to over 16 million Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) expected to be issued in 2020.  

“The ERF is supporting projects that deliver on-ground practical action to reduce emissions, providing benefits to our farming and Indigenous communities, and is providing a way for business and industry to offset their emissions,” Minister Taylor said. 

“Rural and regional Australia is the driving force behind emissions reduction, accounting for 82 per cent of all carbon abatement across the country according to the Clean Energy Regulator,” Minister Taylor said. 

The top three national abatement locations are New South Wales’ Far West and Orana, Queensland’s outback and South Australia’s Barossa - Yorke – Mid North. 

More information can be found in the Clean Energy Regulator’s Quarter 1 2020 Carbon Market Report.  

Media contact: Minister Taylor's office 02 6277 7120