Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 20 March 2014) . . Page.. 683 ..
cost-effective mechanism for allocating feed-in tariff entitlements at the least cost to territory electricity consumers.
Why is this legislation needed? The proposed amendments will assist, as I have said, in achieving our 2020 greenhouse gas emission reduction and renewable energy targets. A number of the amendments also address matters identified during the solar auction process and its subsequent review. Of particular note are the increase of the total capacity, as I have just outlined, and the potential for successful renewable energy generators to be located outside the Australian capital region in certain circumstances.
There are real potential benefits to the territory in making provision for large-scale renewable energy generators located outside the Australian capital region and yet still within the national electricity market. To be successful in a competitive process, such as the proposed 200-megawatt wind auction which I announced just over a week ago, proposals for generators located outside the ACR will need to satisfy two key requirements before they are able to be fully assessed—namely, that their proposal offers exceptional economic benefits to ACT renewable energy industries and their price minimises the costs to electricity consumers. These requirements will be more fully described in the soon-to-be-released request for proposals for the wind auction, which is contingent on the passage of this bill today. By enabling a process whereby such proposals may be considered, we take another step towards achieving real local economic benefits to the territory at minimal cost and demonstrable value for money.
A further amendment relates to providing clarity that the ACT electricity distributor alone is responsible for the payment of feed-in tariff entitlements regardless of the geographic location of an eligible generator. In tandem with this, penalties have been introduced in the event of non-payment of a feed-in tariff entitlement, either by the distributor or, if the payment is a negative amount, by the holder of an entitlement.
The remaining amendments are largely administrative, including dictionary definitions which flow from the more significant amendments I have mentioned.
If we are to take meaningful steps to address climate change and reduce our city’s impact on the broader global atmosphere, our renewable energy policies, including the proposed amendments, are the way to achieve it. We have demonstrated it with the first 40-megawatt capacity release for the solar auction, with those facilities now going through planning or actual construction. The 200-megawatt wind auction, together with the other initiatives I have recently announced, including support of up to one megawatt for community solar, 50 megawatts of next generation solar and 23 megawatts of bioenergy, place us well on the road to achieving the 2020 target and highlight the ACT’s innovation in what cities can achieve when they turn their minds towards creating a more sustainable future.
It is deeply regrettable that the national government is running away from climate change action at a time when all the parties to the United Nations framework convention on climate change are meant to be negotiating a new emissions reduction treaty by the end of 2015 that will unite them in significant global emission reductions from 2020. But that is not a reason to fail to act. Our community expects us to act; our