In a surprise announcement by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet on Friday the 16th of November the federal government would be bringing forward the ending of the solar rebate/credits multiplier forward by 6 months. This means that new end date is the 31st December 2012, which will add around $800.00 to the cost of a system after this date. The Solar Power system must be installed by this date in order to receive the full benefits of any rebates/credits multipliers associated with a solar power installation.
Leader of the Greens Senator Christine Milne said that “It seems incredible that the government wants to bring forward harm to renewable energy industries but, delay cost impacts to fossil fuel polluters.”
“It is gold-plating of energy networks that is driving up power bills – not green schemes – and the government has caved into lobbying by the electricity retailers and fossil fuel generators to do something which will have almost no impact on electricity bills.”
In a statement by Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh, “The costs of supporting schemes for solar have been overstated.”
“Just last week the Climate Change Authority revealed that the cost of incentives for small-scale solar (through the Renewable Energy Target) were less than 2 per cent of retail electricity bills. This small cost has delivered both solar panels and solar hot water to over a million Australian homes and helped protect them from rising energy bills.”
So why the decision to bring the end date forward while the government is in the middle of a Review of the Renewable Energy Target. Giles Parkinson from reneweconomy.com.au notes in an article “intense public lobbying from utilities and generators, particularly Origin Energy, which blamed the blowout in costs from the rooftop solar scheme for a downgrade in its earnings this week.”
Solar Power and other renewable energy’s such as wind seems to be a real threat to the traditional business model of the Large Utility and Power Generators in Australia. Could the traditional coal-fired power generators be worried about the “Merit Order Effect” which lowers the value of the power they generate. A study by the Melbourne Energy Institute seems to suggest that “In Australia, this prospect has been recognized in concern expressed by some coal-fired generators that delivering too much renewable generation would reduce wholesale electricity prices. ” sounds to like the government should be encouraging more renewable energy solutions to put downward pressure on electricity prices but would the retailers pass on the savings?
Here is a good article that talks about some of the myths surrounding solar and other renewable forms of energy. Renewable Energy Myths
Also here a good link to an explanation and breakdown of the cost of your electricity bills from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism Electricity Fact Sheet
Article By: Mato Conjar
I understand all views are my own and not necessarily those of The Green Power Company and its employees