THURSDAY 28 JUNE, 2012 |
IPART Finalises 'Fair' Price For NSW Solar Feed In Tariff
It's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick and will certainly improve the
situation in New South Wales, but IPART's idea of a fair and reasonable value for
solar electricity will no doubt be challenged.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has released its final
on a New South Wales feed-in tariff rate from 1 July 2012. This
will apply to NSW consumers who are not participating in the state's previous Solar Bonus Scheme.
IPART has determined that a "subsidy free feed-in tariff" for 2012/13 is in the range
of 7.7 to 12.9 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) for electricity exported to the
"The value of this electricity is higher than previously estimated
by IPART for 2011/12 due to the introduction of a carbon price which increases the cost of wholesale
electricity," said IPART CEO, Jim Cox.
Many solar industry participants and NSW solar households were calling for a 1:1
feed in tariff. IPART says it settled on a lower figure as retailers still incur
some costs on the electricity exported to the grid by customers with rooftop
solar panels, giving network costs as an example - but without providing further
clarification as to those costs.
An issue commonly overlooked when considering the value of solar electricity
exported to the mains grid is the time of day it is generated. Solar panels
generate power during peak
, when the cost of wholesale electricity is usually much
higher - at times, costing thousands of dollars per megawatt hour.
It's this peak demand issue that means solar ranks highly in relation to what is
known as the Merit Order; as it can be the cheapest source of electricity.
Whether solar's "Merit
" was taken into consideration in IPART's decision remains
The debatable nature of the "fair value" determined by IPART aside; it
finally gives New South Wales resident more incentive to go solar - with the
case for investing in installing
even stronger given a jump of 11.8% - 20.6% in electricity
from July 1.
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