Slashing Solar Won't Stop Electricity Price Rises

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27th October 2010, 05:28pm - Views: 1640
Slashing Solar Won't Stop Electricity Price Rises

HOUSEHOLDS in NSW still face big electricity price increases while the state's solar energy industry will be devastated by the NSW Government's decision to slash its Solar Bonus Scheme.

The changes proposed today by the NSW Government cutting the solar bonus scheme by two thirds from midnight tonight will seriously damage the state's solar panel industry.

"This is a repeat of the boom-bust cycle the solar industry has been trying to avoid," said Clean Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren.

"A year ago we welcomed the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme, but warned the government it was too generous. More recently we advised the best way to fix this was to ease the scheme down and provide more long term certainty.

"Instead they have compounded their first problem with an even bigger problem. Damaging the solar industry in NSW won't stop big electricity price increases but it will cost jobs and damage confidence in this important clean industry.

"Today's announcement is just a knee jerk reaction. Reducing the gross tariff to 20 cents per KWh makes NSW one of the lowest rates in Australia."

The clean energy industry has recommended a lower gross feed in tariff of 45c per kWh and extended over a longer time period to provide certainty to consumers and to installers.

The proposed 2012 review and an end date of December 2016 did not provide the industry with adequate certainty or support, Mr Warren said.

"The cost of improving the electricity network in NSW will cost more than $14 billion over the next five years. By comparison, based on 100MW installed capacity, the cost of the solar bonus scheme is less than 8 per cent of this.

"The NSW Solar Bonus scheme has effectively built a clean energy power station across the rooftops of NSW households. This new generation capacity has been co-funded by all electricity users and the households themselves.

"We just needed to get that funding balance right, not effectively shut the scheme down," Mr Warren said.

The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for renewable energy in Australia, representing approximately 450 companies.

For inquiries, contact
Mark Bretherton from the Clean Energy Council on
0413 556 981.

SOURCE: Clean Energy Council

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