MONDAY 23 MARCH, 2009 |
Victoria's Solar Feed In Tariff Farce
Many Victorians who are enthusiastic to invest in solar power systems but
holding off until a feed in tariff program is implemented in the state might be
very disappointed by proposed legislation introduced by Victoria's State
Under the Electricity Industry Amendment (Premium Solar Feed-in Tariff) Bill 2009,
home owners who have installed a grid
connect solar power
system will only receive 60c per kWh for surplus
electricity generated as a credit on their bill, rather than as a cash payment
as is the case in
Furthermore, if the system owner generates credit from the feed-in tariff
exceeding the cost of their electricity consumption during the billing period,
the additional credit is rolled over to the next billing period. Any credit not
used within 12 months will be wiped.
Any accumulated credit will also be deemed null and void if the system owner changes
electricity retailers or at the end of the scheme.
The Victorian State Government's attempt to pass this legislation has already
met with harsh criticism, with some industry commentators stating it has little
similarity to any successful feed in tariff program in existence anywhere,
either net or gross. One industry source has called the plan "beyond
abysmal, an absolute farce" and that aside from the current $8000
Federal Government rebate
, Victorians will have little incentive to invest
in solar power.
Given Victoria's skyrocketing
greenhouse gas emissions
associated with electricity generation and
Victorian Premier John Brumby's recent claim of the state being "most
in Australia"; many are confused by the draft
According to the Victorian Department of Industries web
, "a premium feed-in tariff scheme encourages households to be energy efficient, as the more power saved the higher the credits".
If the credits disappear rather than getting paid out, there are fears it may encourage households to be
inefficient in energy consumption.
The continuing disparity between Australian states in regards to feed
in tariff programs
and the success of nationalised programs in countries
such as Germany has prompted many to call for a national, uniform gross feed in
tariff locally. A petition established by Victorian solar power company Energy
to draw attention to the issue has already attracted over 13,000 signatures of
support, including over 4,600 signatures from Victoria alone.
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