THURSDAY 25 FEBRUARY, 2010 |
Australian Gross Feed In Tariff Petition Attracts 20,000 Signatures
With all the recent upheaval and changes in government rebates
and incentives for renewable energy; a topic to have largely disappeared from media spotlight is the issue of a national, uniform
gross feed in tariff
- however, it's an issue that hasn't been forgotten by the Australian public and some political forces.
A feed in tariff in relation to renewable energy is a system whereby owners of
renewable energy equipment such as home solar power systems
are paid a premium
rate for the electricity they produce. In the net model only surplus electricity
receives the premium payment, but under a gross arrangement all power produced
by a system is eligible.
The situation in Australia remains that each state has their own feed in tariff
system paying varying rates, or in some cases, none at all. New
and the ACT
the most generous schemes.
The fractured system in Australia has also led to an increase in administrative
resources required to run individual programs, confusion among the public and
cross-border envy in some cases - Australia is very much a nation divided in
The solution is a national, uniform, gross feed in tariff program.
A champion of the concept at a federal level is Australian Greens Senator
Christine Milne who submitted a Private Member's Bill for a national program in
The Greens remain committed to a gross feed in tariff in 2010; with
Senator Milne stating yesterday the Greens would like to see an energy
efficiency target and a gross feed-in tariff running alongside the renewable
energy target. Senator Milne's recent comments were made in relation to a new
Private Members Bill introduced
by the Greens yesterday
that she says will address problems in the current
Renewable Energy Target (RET) system.
A petition run by national solar solutions provider Energy Matters
has also been in operation for some time and has now
attracted over 20,000 signatures.
According to Energy Matters co-founder Max Sylvester, "The initial response
to the petition
was incredible - we were aiming for just 10,000 signatures.
Although it has been nearly 8 months since the petition was tabled
by Senator Milne and we haven't given the petition much additional coverage
since, the signatures keep coming it - we just passed the 20,000 mark".
Mr. Sylvester says a gross feed in tariff is definitely holding back solar power
uptake in some states. "We see evidence of this every day - in customer
comments, we see it mentioned in our community forums
saying that as much as they wish to install solar power
systems, they won't do so until such time a gross feed in tariff is in
"People throughout Australia are looking to the ACT and NSW gross feed in
tariff models - and in both those states we see increased activity. Without a
doubt, gross feed in tariffs for solar power work. It's a concept that has
proven itself time and again here and overseas. It's time for Australia to fully
on board - as a nation united."
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