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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Tasmanian Climate Change Office

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Advancing our renewable energy capability

By 2021 we will be:

  • Maximising the generation of renewable energy in meeting the State’s electricity needs and supporting national electricity security and affordability; and
  • Using energy more efficiently to reduce emissions and electricity costs for households and businesses.

Tasmania has an enviable renewable energy profile. Approximately 90 per cent of our electricity generation is from renewable resources, putting us in a unique position to pursue national opportunities. Approximately 10 per cent of our renewable energy comes from wind, and the remainder from hydro-electric generation, which delivers base load and peaking electricity for Tasmania’s major industrials, small businesses and households.

Our current energy profile is built on over 100 years of investment in hydro-electric generation. This system has supported the Tasmanian community and economy, and has positioned Tasmania well for the transition to a low-emissions economy. The Tasmanian Government is focused on generating electricity as efficiently as possible. In the past two years, Hydro Tasmania has spent close to $150 million and is planning to spend $400 million in the next four years to upgrade and modernise its ageing generation assets.

Tasmania has the opportunity to become a net exporter of electricity, which would support improved energy security and reliability, not only in Tasmania but also across the National Electricity Market (NEM). Tasmania’s flexible hydro-electric generation may assist in balancing the intermittent nature of other renewable energy sources across the NEM. The Interim Report released by the Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce identifies a deficit of up to 1,000 gigawatt hours of average annual electricity generation for Tasmania to become a net exporter of electricity over the long term. Increasing the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses may reduce the draw-downs from Tasmania’s hydro storages, further enhancing the potential for renewable energy generation to meet the State’s electricity needs and improving our energy security.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council has agreed to an independent review of national energy security and the reliability of the NEM, with advice on a coordinated, national reform blueprint.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will work with Hydro Tasmania on feasibility studies to assess a number of new pumped  hydro-energy schemes that could deliver up to 2,500 megawatts of additional capacity for the NEM and augmentation of the existing hydro system with the redevelopment of the Tarraleah Scheme and efficiency improvements at Gordon Power Station. This will enhance Tasmania’s hydro-electric and renewable energy supply for the benefit of the national market transition to a lower carbon emission future. The ARENA work will build on the joint study on the second interconnector by Dr John Tamblyn. This report found that a second interconnector has the potential to deliver significant benefits, but its full potential will depend on the ongoing development of the electricity system in both Tasmania and the NEM.

What we have done so far:

Established the Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce to undertake an independent energy security risk assessment for Tasmania, including the potential impact of climate change on energy security and supply

Released the Tasmanian Energy Strategy to maximise Tasmania’s renewable energy opportunities and support energy efficiency initiatives

Conducted studies to identify the necessary pre-conditions for establishing the viability of a second Bass Strait interconnector and for increasing hydro-electricity generation by 10 per cent 

Delivered an aged care energy efficiency project involving energy efficiency audits for 11 residential aged care facilities to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency

Extended the No Interest Loan Scheme to assist low income Tasmanians to purchase energy efficient products

Continued Aurora Energy’s Your Energy Support program to provide assistance to low income residential customers having difficulty paying their electricity bills through energy saving advice and flexible payment plans

Introduced the $10 million Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS) to promote the uptake by consumers of energy efficient products

Tasmania will invest around $1 billion in maintaining and refurbishing the State’s existing hydro-power assets over the next 10 years. With the continued promotion of further renewable energy opportunities, Tasmania is well placed to become the renewable energy battery for Australia.

Maximising our renewable energy contribution to Australia’s electricity market represents an opportunity for new investment in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Government supports engagement between renewable energy developers and energy utilities that reduces barriers for new renewable energy projects.

Reducing energy consumption through cost-effective energy efficiency actions will reduce electricity bills for businesses, government agencies and households, and will also improve the management of Tasmania’s electricity supply network.

The Tasmanian Government has established the $10 million Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS) that provides no-interest finance to households and small businesses to install energy efficient equipment and appliances.

The actions for this priority area focus on:

  • Continuing to invest in existing hydro-electricity assets to ensure the maximum potential renewable energy is generated to assist in lowering emissions;
  • Assessing opportunities for increasing Tasmania’s renewable energy resources and progressing viable commercial opportunities;
  • Assisting small businesses and households to reduce their energy use and save money on electricity bills by overcoming barriers such as up-front capital costs;
  • Undertaking a feasibility study into energy efficiency financing options such as Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUA’s);
  • Supporting the improvement of street lighting energy efficiency by helping to overcome barriers related to metering and ownership of lighting infrastructure and hardware; and
  • Improving the energy efficiency of Tasmanian Government owned and leased facilities by monitoring energy usage, capacity building, conducting energy audits and capital upgrades.
ActionMilestones Lead Agency
Partner Agency
2.1 Promote Tasmanian and National emissions reduction and energy security through a coordinated approach to renewable energy advancement in the State

Continue to invest in existing hydro-electricity assets to maximise potential renewable energy generation

Consider the findings of the Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce and the feasibility study into a second Bass Strait interconnector

Progress opportunities for further renewable energy development to support our aim to be a net exporter of electricity

Advocate for Tasmania to play a significant role in national energy security through the COAG review into the reliability and security of the NEM in the transition to a low carbon emissions future

State Growth
2.2 Support the delivery of TEELS

Provide resources and guidance materials to support businesses and households to access TEELS

2.3 Work with businesses to maximise energy efficiency

Provide assistance to businesses to improve energy efficiency

Identify energy saving projects eligible for application to TEELS or other finance options

2.4 Determine the suitability of EUA’s to finance energy upgrades in building stock

Deliver a feasibility study into the applicability of EUA’s and other financing options in Tasmania

2.5 Support and assist the delivery of energy efficient street lighting projects

Work with local councils and service providers to increase uptake of energy efficient lighting technologies

2.6 Support Tasmanian Government agencies to address energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions

Assist Tasmanian Government agencies with monitoring and reporting

2.7 Improve the energy efficiency of Tasmanian Government owned and leased buildings through energy audits
and capital upgrades

Undertake cost-effective capital upgrades to achieve greater energy efficiency

Deliver an energy efficiency behaviour change program