The ATA (Alternative Technology Association), Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable technology and practice recently weighed in on the issue of feed in tariffs; one of the hottest topics in the Australian renewable energy industry.
According to Brad Shone, the ATA’s Energy Policy Manager, “A nationally consistent, gross feed-in tariff will give homeowners the certainty they need to invest in solar power. The ACT has provided a model for a successful gross feed-in tariff, and it is essential that the federal government isn’t swayed by the ‘poor cousin’ net feed-in tariffs in South Australia and Queensland”
The new Western Australian government also promised a gross feed in tariff scheme in the lead up to the last election, however their program will be quite limited if and when it’s implemented.
The ATA also states that gross feed-in tariffs are key to Australia’s ability to continue to reduce its carbon emissions in the future and to meet its Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET).
A net feed in tariff only rewards grid connect system owners for the surplus energy they generate. As all solar generated electricity is created during daylight hours, this seriously disadvantages homeowners who may be at home for most of the day, such as parents of young children and retirees.
A gross feed in tariff will pay owners of rooftop solar panels for all the power their grid connect systems feed into the electricity grid – and at a premium rate, well over and above the market rate. This is the model used by the leading country in solar power uptake; Germany, and the program is also place in over 45 countries, states or provinces around the world.
The Rudd government’s promised uniform feed-in tariff will be discussed at next month’s COAG meeting. Learn more about feed in tariffs in Australia and what you can do to ensure the gross model is implemented Australia-wide as soon as possible.