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ACT's renewable energy target broke investment drought, report finds

The ACT's leading renewable energy target helped break a 16-month investment drought caused by federal uncertainty, a new Australia Institute report has found.

The think tank's Carbon Emissions Index report was released on Friday morning, timed to coincide with an urgent meeting of state, territory, and federal energy ministers in Victoria.

The Australia Institute and consultancy Pitt & Sherry found the ACT's 100 per cent renewable energy target helped drive investment in two wind farms, one in Ararat in Victoria, and another in Hornsdale, South Australia.

The Ararat farm will provide enough power for 37,200 Canberra homes, while Hornsdale would generate enough for 168,500.

"Both are contracted by the ACT government to contribute to its 100% renewable contracted electricity supply by 2020," the report said.

"These two projects ended a gap of 16 months with no new wind farms, since the first machines at Bald Hills, in Victoria, were commissioned in February 2015."

Energy consultant Hugh Saddler, who authored the report, said the ACT helped drive investment during a time of uncertainty for clean energy, caused by concerns about the status of the energy target under then Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The report found that even when the federal target was set, it did not deliver any new wind capacity.

"While uncertainty was ended with the passage of legislation for a lower target, it is notable that the lower RET is still to deliver any new wind capacity," the report said.

"The ACT-linked wind farms are all additional to the RET,€“ the potential certificates from ACT contracted wind farms are surrendered€“ and therefore add to the emissions abatement achieved through the national RET policy."

 

Source: Canberra Times

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