Solar power system owners in Victoria can expect approximately 20 per cent more for the electricity they export to the mains grid from July next year.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio yesterday announced multiple feed-in tariff rates would be introduced in 2017. The rates would be based on peak, off-peak and shoulder exports. Additionally, solar households will receive a payment for the environmental value of their exports.
“Victorians should be fairly compensated for the power they generate – plain and simple,” said Minister D’Ambrosio.
“This is the first time the tariff has been increased in the last 6 years, rising by approximately 20 per cent. Households will now be compensated through the most cost effective and fairest system available, which is through a time-of-use feed-in tariff.”
Not all of the FiT recommendations previously made by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) will make it to prime-time, as they would add unnecessary complexity Ms. D’Ambrosio said.
The Minister stated this was the first time Victoria’s solar feed-in tariff had been increased in 6 years.
Pending further detail being made available, the announcement will no doubt be welcomed by Victorian solar households; more of whom have been considering installing home energy storage to make the best use of their valuable rooftop generated electricity.
Even with the FiT increase, solar batteries will continue to be very attractive.
According to Energy Matters, a system comprising 5.2kW of solar panels in Melbourne along with a battery system can provide a financial benefit (at current FiT rates) of more than $1,800 annually; depending on installation scenario and consumption profile.
It’s encouraging to see the Victorian Government following through on what was an important election promise. Recent Clean Energy Regulator (CER) data indicates more than 295,000 solar power systems are installed across the state; representing an even greater number of voters.
The Clean Energy Council was quick to praise the move.
“This new system is simply better recognition of the true value of solar power when it flows back into the power grid,” said CEC Policy Manager Darren Gladman.
“This will also help to provide an incentive to install home battery systems, which are coming down rapidly in price but still outside the reach of many working families.”
Solar Citizens was also very pleased with the announcement.
“This is a first for Australia and indeed the Victorian Government is leading the world with this announcement to better value the benefits of rooftop solar or distributed renewable energy,” Reece Turner, Consumer Campaigner for Solar Citizens said.