The International REC Standard Foundation (I-REC Standard) Board has given approval for the development of a below-baseline generation certification mechanism in Australia. This comes after several months of discussions in which the I-REC Standard has been in close contact with Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator (CER) regarding the development of an attribute tracking system.
The Australian government introduced their Renewable Energy Target (RET) in 2001 to support renewable energy development. The current target, which was set in 2015, is 33,000GWh of electricity generation from renewable sources. The CER administers the Renewable Energy Target’s large-scale and small-scale Renewable Energy Schemes. The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) creates large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) creates small-scale technology certificates (STCs). The CER also administers the REC Registry, where LGCs and STCs are created, transferred, and surrendered. To be eligible to create LGCs under the RET, accredited generators must be in operation after 1st January 1997.
By using baseline information from the CER and liaising directly with the publicly available data from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the I-REC Standard can ensure that no MWh of generation eligible under the RET is double-counted in a proposed I-REC process. For example: a RE project may have been assigned a baseline of 100 MWh by the CER. If that project generates 150 MWh each year, then it can create LGCs for generation above baseline (i.e., 150 – 100 = 50 MWh). The producer gets LGCs for 50 MWh, leaving the remaining 100 MWh below the baseline that can secure I-RECs. In addition, some devices are not eligible for LGC issuance at all, making all their generation eligible for I-REC issuance.
For more information about the certification of below-baseline generation, please have a look at the country report.