Speaking at Greens National Conference being held in Brisbane, Senator Christine Milne along with 7 other Greens Party MP’s has renewed calls for a national uniform gross feed in tariff to assist in Australia reaching its MRET (Mandatory Renewable Energy Target) and to ensure that home owners are fairly recompensed for all renewable energy generated from any source, such as wind energy or solar power – and of any size
Senator Milne has a Private Member’s Bill before the Senate regarding a uniform national gross feed in tariff scheme. A Senate Inquiry report regarding the Bill will be tabled tabled today to commence the next phase of a national debate on the topic in the lead up to the next Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on November 17.
Senator Milne acknowledged that some Australian states have taken the lead by implementing their own feed in tariffs, but that most of these schemes are flawed. Some states only pay a net feed in tariff whereby owners of small wind energy and solar power systems are only paid on the surplus electricity generated. For householders where someone is home during the day, such in the case of retirees or parents with young children; the incentive to install home solar power is greatly reduced under a net feed in tariff model. Some states also have a cap on the size of the system, discouraging home owners from installing large systems as government rebates for home grid connect solar power are now means tested and capped at $8,000.
Senator Milne points towards the success of Germany’s gross feed in tariff scheme and the resulting renewable energy supply boom that has resulted in many new jobs and investment in the clean tech sector, along with reducing greenhouse emissions. Senator Milne also stated that recent studies from the IEA (International Energy Agency) and Ernst & Young have have demonstrated feed-in tariffs are a more economical and effective tools than systems such as Australia’s Mandatory Renewable Energy Target.