Glossary of Renewable Energy Terms
Click the energy terms below to open up our explanations...
Loss in transmission
This refers to power that is produced but lost along the network (power lines) as it travels. Currently our power is produced in the La Trobe Valley Victoria. The most efficient place to create power is at point of use. That is why rooftop solar is such a great solution.
STC stands for Small Technology Certificate/s. This is the Federal Government’s incentive offered to installations under 100kW in size on a house or business. It is attached to the RET, the Renewable Energy Target. STCs are often offered as a point of sale discount. You own the certificates and you can choose to keep them should you wish to, where you can either trade them yourself or not.
LGC stands for Large Technology Certificate/s. This is the Federal Government’s incentive offered to installations above 100kW in size on a house or business. It is attached to the RET, the Renewable Energy Target. The value of the LGC is paid annually, based on how much power your system has produced.
RET stands for Renewable Energy Target. It is a target that is generally set by the federal government. However, we are now seeing targets set by state governments and even local communities.
All big energy retailers have RETs to achieve and each quarter they must surrender a certain number of certificates. 1mW of power = 1 certificate. These certificates can be obtained either through the LGC or STC market. If they fail to meet their targets they must pay the fines imposed.
Australia’s RET was 20% by 2020, below are details of individual state targets.
- ACT - 100% by 2020
- NSW - 23% by 2020
- NT - 50% by 2030
- QLD - 50% by 2030
- SA - 50% by 2025
- Tas - 50% by 2025
- VIC - 25% by 2020, 40% by 2025
Power Purchasing Agreement. This is where someone might agree to install panels on your roof and you agree to pay them for the power that you use from those panels. PPAs are common place in community energy.
National Energy Market. This is the trading place for energy. The NEM is the largest energy infrastructure in the world. It spans from Port Douglas to Southern Tasmania and across to Port Augusta in SA. It connects over 9 million customers and has a 45,000mW capacity.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency. ARENA manages grants that are given for renewable energy projects.
Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The CEFC funds renewable energy projects.
Behind the meter
This is where power is generated and used without it being registered on your electricity meter. Exactly like net metering.
Types of Renewable Energy
- PV - photovoltaics also known as solar panels
- Wind power
- Hydro power (water), happens naturally in water system
- Pumped hydro – purpose-built hydro system where the water is continuously recirculated through the system.
- Tidal/wave power
Solar power, also refers to the solar panels
Green Power v Accredited Green Power
Green Power is energy generated from renewables. Accredited Green Power applies to Green Power projects which must have been built after 1997.
If choosing to purchase Green Power on your electricity bill, it is worth understanding the difference. If you are purchasing Green Power, you are paying to maintain the existing infrastructure. If you choose Accredited Green Power, you are investing in NEW projects.
Virtual net metering
Virtual net metering is not yet available in Australia but it is certainly being talked about. It is where you might not be able to have solar on your roof but your neighbour down the road has more than enough space for it on theirs. You enter an agreement to purchase power from their system. It’s a bit like offsetting.
This is our electricity network.
Rebates / Government Incentives
Rebates are offered as incentives to install renewables and should not to be confused with Feed in Tariffs. Rebates/incentives are available to those installing solar hot water and solar power. The amount will depend on what size system or technology you are using. Most are offered as point of sale discounts.
Energy efficiency is investigating your energy use and finding ways to reduce your usage by implementing change. Change can be via technology such as installation of insulation or secondary glazing, or can be behavioural – turning lights off, eliminating standby power etc.