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REN21 10 Years Report

24 AUSTRALIA OCEANIA n GENERAL OVERVIEW Australia Oceania covers a huge area with range of divergent countries. Australia,iii New Zealand,iv South Korea and Japan as well as the 15 Pacific Island States are very different in terms of geographical and climatic conditions, as well as the economic situation. However the entire region is blessed with extraordinary potentials of renewable energy and the low population density in all countries of this region makes renewable energy a natural choice for decentralised generation technology. Australia has among the largest renewable potentials world- wide. According to the IPCC Special Report Renewable Energy, Australia could deliver the country’s current demand more than 50 times over from renewable energy sources alone. Solar and wind are the main renewable energy sources for growth, on top of the existing hydroelectricity and bioenergy. New Zealand was an early adopter of several alternative energy technologies, particularly hydroelectricity and geothermal energy. Its mature geothermal sector places New Zealand among the top countries for geothermal power capacity. The country also has a large potential for wind, solar and ocean energy. Like New Zealand, Japan has good geothermal potential and a rapidly expanding PV sector. Renewables have been slower to develop in South Korea but tidal power and CSP are emerging as renewable leaders. The vast majority of electricity demand of the Pacific Islands is generated via diesel generators which are among the most expensive technologies to produce electricity. While solar PV electricity generation would be the cheapest technology to gen- erate power almost across all the island states, the largest bar- rier is still limited know-how and access to technology. However many of the island states recognise the huge opportunity that renewable energy represents and have developed support pro- grammes over the past five years. n MAIN DRIVERS FOR RENEWABLES Grid-connected solar PV and wind power have established them- selves as the lowest cost renewable energy options for Australia. In Australia, 75% of the population wants more renewable energy demonstrating an inherent understanding of the importance of renewable energies. Australia’s ageing coal power plant fleet provides further impetus. However, policy uncertainty remains a challenge in Australia, particularly for large scale renewable energy project deployment. Drivers for renewables in New Zealand include diverse resource development, environmental responsibility, efficient use of energy and secure and affordable energy. For the Island States, security of supply, access to energy services and independence from fuel costs are the main drivers. n RENEWABLE ENERGY POLICY DEVELOPMENT A decade ago, Australia’s renewable industry was dominated by large-scale hydro power. The single most important policy that has helped drive the maturation of the country’s renewable industry since 2001—particularly in the field of large scale on- shore wind and residential PV installations—was the Renewable Energy Target (RET). The RET obligates electricity retailers and large wholesale con- sumers to source at least 20% of electricity from RE sources by 2020. The review of the RET scheme is currently underway, caus- ing significant uncertainty for large-scale investment at present. Various state governments have introduced FITs for rooftop solar. Tariffs have been generous but have wound down significantly over the past years as the cost of solar PV has come down, in turn leading to a reduction in the number of rooftop installation because of reduced incentives. Unlike many other industrialised countries, explicit support schemes for renewable energies are minimal in New Zealand in part because renewable energies are already competitive with fossil-fuelled equivalents. Most renewable electricity projects rely on existing market mechanisms while some sectors, such as solar water heating, receive low levels of support. In recent years the development of renewables has lagged that of other countries, particularly in fields such as wind power. In 2008, renewable sources of energy provided 33% (5.6 M toe) of total primary energy supply (TPES) a share that has changed little since then. New Zealand currently has a target of 90% elec- tricity from renewable energy by 2025 despite not having any specific renewable energy policy in place. Japan’s feed-in-tariffs were first introduced in 2012, in response to help plug the gap caused by the loss of nuclear capacity as well as aiming to utilise Japan’s vast geothermal resources, esti- mated at over 20 GW. Japanintroduceditsfirstfeed-in-tariffsin2009.Itreplacedvolun- tary net-metering, which was offered by regional electric utilities,iii) Source: Clean Energy Council 2013. Reference see endnotes. iv) Source: Energy-in-New Zealand. Reference see endnotes.

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