Griffith Hack Clean & Sustainable Technologies

June 23, 2010, 4:25 pm
Filed under: Feature


Industry responds to RET solar amendments

The cost of solar panels and solar hot water could soar under changes made to the Renewable Energy Target yesterday.
Without proper debate, the Government and Opposition have opened the door to a dramatic cut in the incentives paid to Australian families to invest in solar panels and solar hot water systems. That would be bad news for Australian families and bad news for solar companies. The Government’s amendment to its own Renewable Energy Target (RET) gives a mechanism for the Government to alter the price of renewable energy certificates (REC’s) paid to small scale solar, including photovoltaics (PV) and solar hot water.
The amendment also flags an effective target of 6 million small scale solar REC’s in 2015, and does not rule out making changes to the REC price paid to small scale solar well before that.
To put this change in context, in 2009 there were 10.16 million REC’s created from small scale solar installations.
“If 6 million REC’s by 2015 becomes the new target, the Government has effectively made a commitment to deliver half the solar in 2015, that it delivered in 2009. This is despite the legislative phase out of electric hot water systems from 2012, that will drive increased take up of solar hot water” said John Grimes, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES).
If the Government sticks to the 6 million target outlined in the legislation, it is likely that the REC price paid in 2015 and beyond for solar PV and solar hot water could be well under $20, about half the level proposed by the Government just months ago,” said Grimes. “Solar is a key component in helping the Government meet its target of a 20% of electricity coming from renewable energy 2020, and should be a major player going forward. This change means that small scale solar has been largely taken off the table, at a time when we should be powering ahead with massive community support”, said Grimes.
The Government must today rule out any cut to the incentive paid to Australian families to take action on climate change based on 6 million certificates by 2015, and clarify the process for changing the price of Renewable Energy Certificates going forward.
Solar companies are looking for certainty and proper support, and this amendment delivers neither.

For additional information or to schedule an interview with the CEO of the AuSES, John Grimes please contact:
0400 102 396

PO Box 148 Frenchs Forest NSW 1640


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