The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is an industry association representing the clean energy sector of Australia. More than 600 member companies, many of which represent the renewable energy sector and others working in the energy efficiency field, make up the council. The members of the CEC are involved in the development and implementation of modern technology systems for clean energy generation and management, including solar, wind, marine, hydro, geothermal, etc.
CEC is a non-profit incorporated association which is based at Melbourne. It operates nationally and is primarily funded through membership fees. Additional income is generated through industry-associated programs such as accreditations.
The CEC also works with both the industry and Standards Australia to develop new as well as update the existing standards to reflect best practices in the industry for the design and installation of renewable energy power systems. These standards help to optimize the performance and safety of the clean energy systems.
With reference to solar power energy systems in Australia, the CEC undertakes the following responsibilities:
- Accrediting designers and installers of solar power systems
- Managing lists of approved power system components that include inverters and photovoltaic modules.
- Developing training courses in the design and installation of solar power systems representing the industry.
- Developing new standards as well as bringing in required variations to existing ones specific to the industry.
- Assisting the general community to understand the working of solar power systems and help realize the advantages of clean energy
Other activities of CEC include the conduction of the annual Clean Energy Week which is an industry conference that provides the most recent and comprehensive update of the renewable energy technology and related policies in Australia. There is also a terrific “Education website” for teachers and students here.
The CEC has also set up the Energy Efficiency Directorate that is responsible for the policy formation and implementation in the energy efficiency sector.
With a focus to tackle climate change in Australia, the CEC believes that electricity generation is the highest contributor to the current high levels of emissions. The CEC aims to remedy the situation by suitably altering Australia’s electricity mix.
The 5-point plan of the CEC for a clean, emission-free economy includes the following:
- Reduce energy demand growth to one-third through regulations and energy targets.
- Ensure that 20% of Australia’s energy requirement is sourced through renewable energy systems by the year 2020.
- Improve access to renewable energy power systems.
- Mobilise an AUD2 billion fund for Clean Energy Innovation.
- Set up a carbon emissions scheme in a manner to stabilize emissions at the 2000 levels.
The Carbon Price Package announced by the CEC last year has been designed to increase investments in the clean energy sector and make it more attractive to investors. An AUD10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation has been announced as part of the Carbon Price Package for funding new clean energy technologies.
With UK’s clean energy pioneer David Green as its new CEO, the CEC is all set to revolutionize the energy sector of Australia and foster growth to achieve the 2020 target.