(There is a new, up-to-date as of January 2011 blog entry regarding the Enhanced Renewable Energy Target here. If you have any comments or questions please see that article first!)
The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency announced today the schedule by which reductions to the Solar Credits Discount Scheme will be effected. If you’re fully installed by 1 July 2011 you’ll get the maximum benefit of the current discount scheme – otherwise the cost will rise by approximately $1,000 for an entry level 1.5kW system (presuming a $32 Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) value).
The good news is that a long term plan has been outlined in parallel with the original intension of the legislation to phase out the discount at a steady and calculated rate.
The Solar Credits Multiplier, which multiplies by five the number of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that are allocated for the first 1.5kW worth of grid-connected solar energy installations in Australia, is to be reduced accordingly:
- 5x to 4x on 1 July 2011;
- 4x to 3x on 1 July 2012;
- 3x to 2x on 1 July 2013; and,
- 2x to 1x from 1 July 2014.
The only changes that have been enacted were to bring the commencement of the reduction in the multiplier forward one year. This reflects the original aim of the legislation to phase out the multiplier in correspondence with the lowering costs of manufacturing and importing of solar components and competitiveness in the solar installation industry.
In addition, the introduction of a minimum $40 value for RECs is to go ahead as planned. The Office of Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) will not hold the authority to manipulate either of these guidelines when it sees it appropriate. This will grant further stability to the industry.
Given the recent cuts to the NSW State Solar Bonus Scheme and the past experiences of rebates and grants being cut without warning, the layout is being welcomed by the Industry. Legislation that allows for forward planning and anticipation greatly assists not only residential householders, but encourages steady and stable growth for the industry as a whole.
Written by Jarrah Harburn & Justine O’Neill
© 2010 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
(For a bit more context regarding what RECs are, please see our previous entry on how to determine your Solar Credit discount.)
He is now the communications manager for energy technology startup SwitchDin, but remains an occasional contributor to the Solar Choice blog.
James lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
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