THURSDAY 18 DECEMBER, 2008 |
Australia's Solar Credits Program - Update
Further update: January 2009: Australian
Solar Credits Program FAQ - click here
Yesterday we reported on the surprise announcement of the pending replacement of the
Australian Government's $8,000 solar rebate
with a new
, as part of draft legislation that was also released on Wednesday.
legislation, the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) scheme has been
renamed to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) . Release of the draft
outlining the scheme rules for a 20 per cent renewable energy target
by 2020 and was applauded by the Clean Energy Council as being "a long time coming”.
The new solar credits program caught many off guard after the release of the
controversial Carbon Reduction White Paper
that made no mention of the scheme. The program
has been welcomed by many in the Australian solar industry
and renewable energy advocates who have been very concerned
with the seeming imbalance
between support for the coal industry
and incentives for
However, some have expressed misgivings about the impact the solar credits
program may have on low income earners
as it will erode some of the financial benefit available under the current rebate
also stated "the fact that each megawatt hour of solar power will take up the space of five megawatt hours in the scheme means the 20% target will now deliver even less renewable energy into the grid than it should."
In a press release issued late yesterday yesterday, Environment Minister Peter
Garrett said Labor's election commitment to double the amount of solar panels on
Australian rooftops within eight years was delivered within 18 months. Through the new solar credits program,
Minister Garrett also said the "Rudd Labor Government will put
more solar panels on Australian roofs than any other government has ever
Minister Garrett also offered further clarifications on the solar credits
* The current $8,000 solar rebate
will be replaced by the solar credits program in July 2009
* The credit would represent the equivalent of up to $7,500 in price reductions on a 1.5
kilowatt solar power system
* The solar credit will not be means tested.
* It will be open to everybody - home owners, small businesses and community groups
* The scheme applies up to a level of 1.5 kilowatt hours rated systems.
Householders, businesses and community groups will be able to install larger
systems, but the credits will only apply to the first 1.5 kilowatts
* The solar credit program will also apply to wind power and micro hydro systems
* The Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)
multiplier system that will form the
basis of the solar credits scheme will operate on the following timelines; 2009-10, five
times current levels; 2010-11, five times; 2011-12, five times; 2012-13, four times; 2013-14, three times; 2014-15, two times; and 2015-16 onwards, no multiplier.
As reported yesterday, there still hasn't been any more developments on what is
widely regarded as a critical
element needed to turn Australia into a true solar nation - the implementation
of a nationalised gross feed in tariff program
to further encourage investors and reward home solar
power system owners by paying them a premium rate for each kilowatt of
electricity their systems produce.
We'll continue to publish updates on the solar credits program as new
information becomes available.
Australian Solar Credits Program FAQ
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