The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) was introduced in 2011 as part of the Australian Government’s efforts to promote the adoption of renewable energy technologies. Under this scheme, Solar system owners are eligible to receive Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) for their Solar installations.
The number of STCs a system owner receives depends on the amount of renewable energy the system is expected to generate over a certain period, called the deeming period. The deeming period for Solar systems is typically 15 years. The number of STCs is determined using a calculation known as the Small-scale Technology Percentage (STP), which is set by the government each year.
Once the Solar system is installed, the system owner can create STCs by registering their system with the Clean Energy Regulator. The number of STCs is calculated based on the system’s capacity and location. For example, a Solar system installed in an area with more sunlight will generate more STCs than a system in a less sunny area.
STCs can be traded and sold to electricity retailers, who have a legal obligation to purchase a certain number of STCs each year. This creates a market for STCs, with the value of each certificate dependent on supply and demand. The market price of STCs can fluctuate based on factors such as changes in government policy, Solar technology advancements, and market conditions.
The value of STCs can significantly reduce the upfront cost of installing a Solar system. System owners can choose to assign their STCs to a registered agent, who will provide a discount on the system installation cost upfront. Alternatively, system owners can trade their STCs directly on the market to potentially receive a higher price, although this involves more complexity and risk.
Overall, the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) and the Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) provide financial incentives for Solar system owners in Australia and help drive the adoption of renewable energy technologies.