Suntech’s Shi says regulators must adapt to the reality of affordable solar

The UNSW scientist who became the world’s first solar billionaire has urged energy market regulators to catch up with renewable energy technology and encourage its rollout, instead of impeding it.

“Solar is here,” said Zhengrong Shi, the founder and former CEO of Chinese solar giant Suntech, otherwise known as the Sun King.

“Regulators need to encourage and promote the application of this new technology. We are not going to step it, it’s better to push this application quickly,” he told a NSW government-sponsored Solar Breakfast in Sydney on Monday.

The response of regulators in Australia to the massive rollout of rooftop solar has been slow and disjointed.

The policy and pricing regulators have been criticised for not keeping up with the technology cost falls, and recent decisions have suggested that the incumbent utilities are looking to make rooftop solar less attractive, and slow down its deployment, despite rhetoric that suggests otherwise.

The regulatory hurdles, which include access to connections, a “fair price” for solar, the structure of tariffs, particularly the lifting of fixed charges, and the ability to “share solar,” have become a key issue for the industry.

“Solar PV is here to stay,” added professor Martin Green, the head of solar research at UNSW, speaking at the same event.

“It will become the lowest-cost option for energy technologies, the whole system will have to adjust to that reality.”

Top image: Prof Zhenrong Shi, via World Economic Forum

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson

Giles Parkinson regularly contributes unique content to Solar Choice News. Giles is the founder and editor of clean energy industry news service RenewEconomy. He is a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Financial Review, a columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the founding editor of Climate Spectator.
Giles Parkinson

Comments

  1. as i have more kw’s of solar than some of the photos you have here… there are certainly some good installs, as i was going to go down a bigger track in the early stages but i ran out of time, to get in before the full rebate closed, so i had to settle on 45 kw’s over 2 sites, 15kw house and a 30kw child care centre roof install and i used sma. and trina solar panels and at this stage i have had no problems, only a smouldering fuse due to poor workman ship on the house site, it just melted on the board, no trouble since, do you get any feed back from other bigger installs, that might keep me ahead of any up coming problems, of whats down the track,, also how about getting ergon paying some retail money to the ergon solar iinstals, if you have any poltical push this mob needs to be in line with all the other retailers instead of having both sides,,whole sale and retail.they should be shown up and deregulated,,, anyway good hunting regards graham

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