Greens plan end to “solar-coaster” ride
13 Jun, 2013
The ACT Parliamentary Agreement includes a commitment to implement a guaranteed payment for householders and small business installing solar systems in the ACT, said ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury, following ActewAGL’s announcement of changes to their Solar Buy Back scheme.ActewAGL have announced that they will now pay less for solar energy fed back into the grid, which will significantly reduce the incentive for householders and small business to invest in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.“ActewAGL have always indicated that there was a limited lifespan to their Solar Buy Back scheme which paid householders the retail price for renewable electricity fed into the grid, which is why we put the development of a new scheme into the Parliamentary Agreement,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“The original solar feed-in tariff scheme, which commenced in 2009, was cancelled after it reached capacity in 2011, but nothing has been put into place since to ensure a fair price for solar electricity generated by householders and small business.
“The ACT Greens were critical when the Government didn’t continue to gradually reduce the payments on the old feed-in tariff as the scheme was very generous for PV system owners. But we are keen to see home and small business generators paid a fair price, and one that delivers an incentive for the community to keep installing rooftop solar.
“If the guaranteed payment scheme were implemented, rooftop solar programs would cost the ACT community less than large-scale solar. Given that we have a 90% renewable energy target that we need to meet at the lowest cost possible, it would be short-sighted not to continue with a rooftop incentive scheme.
“While there is a place for large-scale solar developments in our energy mix, rooftop solar comes without the additional challenges of planning approvals, finding sites and having solar auctions.
“And as grid infrastructure is provided at little or no cost, we should aspire to small solar plants across household rooves in Canberra,” said Mr Rattenbury.
The ACT Greens election commitment on the guaranteed solar payment included provisions to automatically reduce the rate each year, and further reduce it if installations exceed the expected annual uptake. This would prevent a further “solar-coaster” ride for the industry.
Further information about ActewAGL changes to the Solar Buy Back scheme are here: http://www.actewagl.com.au/Product-and-services/Offers-and-prices/Prices/Residential/ACT/Feed-in-schemes/ActewAGL-Solar-buyback-scheme/Transition-to-net-metering.aspx