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The latest report from the Clean Energy Regulator shows that the renewable energy and emissions reduction sectors are retaining strong performance throughout COVID-19.

New data released in the Regulator’s Q1 2020 Quarterly Carbon Market Report suggests the sector is showing resilience despite the economic challenges raised by pandemic conditions.

According to the report, the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and Renewable Energy Target (RET) are expected to deliver at least 57 million tonnes of emissions reduction in 2020, up from 49 million tonnes in 2019.

The Clean Energy Regulator has not detected any slowdown in the rate of installation of rooftop solar during the first quarter of 2020. The rooftop solar sector is currently delivering increased capacity of 33 per cent year on year.

The first three months of 2020 saw a strong result of 1.3GW of total new renewable capacity delivered, with 678MW from large-scale power stations and 609MW from small-scale renewables.

The Regulator also found 837MW of newly committed large-scale renewable capacity reached financial close throughout the quarter, and the construction of large-scale projects is generally on track with minimal delays.

The Clean Energy Regulator reports that there are still good prospects that in excess of 2GW of new projects will reach financial close this year, demonstrating the continued growth in this sector.

Australia is also on track for a step up in total abatement under the ERF with a 12 per cent increase to over 16 million Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) expected to be issued in 2020.

The top three national abatement locations are New South Wales’ Far West and Orana, Queensland’s outback and South Australia’s Barossa-Yorke-Mid North.

Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the report confirmed that Australia is continuing to be a world leader in renewable energy.

“The ERF is supporting projects that deliver on-ground practical action to reduce emissions, providing benefits to our farming and Indigenous communities, and is providing a way for business and industry to offset their emissions,” Mr Taylor said.

“Rural and regional Australia is the driving force behind emissions reduction, accounting for 82 per cent of all carbon abatement across the country according to the Clean Energy Regulator,” Minister Taylor said.

For more information, read the Clean Energy Regulator’s Quarter 1 2020 Carbon Market Report here.

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