Unable to secure the votes required in the Upper House of Parliament, Premier Barry O’Farrell has abandoned plans to retroactively cut the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme 60c/kWh solar feed in tariff currently paid to over 100,000 NSW residents who signed up for the previous government’s Solar Bonus scheme. The government has also said that the 40,000 homes that have registered will be eligible to receive the 20c/kWh feed-in tariff. This ends a saga that began with the shocking announcement that raised tensions, caused widespread uneasiness, and prompted rallies and threats of legal action against the government.
Solar Choice, the Australian Clean Energy Council, as well as the Australian Solar Energy Society have welcomed a decision by the NSW Government to honour the level of support for more than 120,000 households that have installed solar power systems.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said the O’Farrell Government’s decision deserved praise. œThe new government has inherited a difficult situation, but it has honoured the investment of solar households while working hard to ensure the development of this important emerging clean energy industry, he said. The government’s move, he said, will provide continued and much needed assistance to the country’s growing solar power industry, but that “the development of a long-term strategy to sustainably develop solar energy in NSW” was still crucial.
John Grimes, Chief Executive of AuSES, also praised the government’s decision, but emphasises the need for ongoing support for solar power. In particular, he pointed out the importance of ensuring that those feeding solar electricity into the grid are paid at a fair rate.
To make a strong solar future a reality in NSW it is now imperative that the NSW government puts in place a fair price for solar going forward. “We want to work collaboratively with the government to urgently finalise the details of a scheme that will at least pay people the same rate for their clean solar power as they pay for coal fired electricity from the grid.”
© 2011 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
Sources and Links:
Clean Energy Council media release, “Industry Welcomes Ray of Light for NSW Solar”
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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