With a recent influx of federal and state government funding, and the world’s largest green hydrogen project pipeline in place, Australia is well positioned to become a leading hydrogen producer and exporter. However, one outstanding aspect of this nascent industry – which could influence its future success – is the development of an internationally recognised certification scheme.
On 5 May 2021, the federal government announced its intention to make amendments to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Regulations 2008 (the NGER Regulations) and National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008 (the Measurement Determination). The NGER Regulations outline the requirements for reporting entities under the NGER scheme and the Measurement Determination provides methods for estimating GHG emissions and the production and consumption of energy.
The Statutes Amendment (National Energy Laws) (Penalties and Enforcement) Act 2020 (Act) commenced on 29 January 2021, arming the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for the first time with the power to compulsorily seek information and to undertake compulsory examinations in the course of investigations. The Act also very significantly increases the maximum penalties for contraventions of the civil penalty provisions in the National Energy Law and associated legislation and rules, on terms that are analogous to the penalty regime in the Australian Consumer Law.
This alert summarises the key changes and risks associated with the new regime that market participants should be aware of, and identifies steps that should now be taken to minimise those risks.