Update 25 June 2012: The Queensland Solar Bonus Feed-in Tariff scheme will be reduced from 44c/kWh to 8c/kWh. Applications to connect to the grid must be submitted by midnight 9 July 2012.
Queensland’s Labour Party has lost the March 2012 parliamentary election, trounced by the state’s Liberal National Party (LNP). The LNP’s victory leaves many solar PV system owners and solar PV system installers wondering what will become of the state’s Solar Bonus Scheme Feed-in Tariff, which offers Queensland system owners 44c for every kilowatt-hour of solar power exported to the grid. According to statements by the LNP’s Treasurer-to-be, this rate will be unaffected with the change of government.
There has been some speculation about the future of the Queensland Solar Feed-in Tariff in a post-Labour Queensland. As early as October 2011, there were uneasy murmurs amongst system owners and system installers alike that the Labour government under Premier Anna Bligh would be ousted from office and wary of changes any future government might impose on the scheme.
The precedent set by other states whose governments underwent a similar Liberal-Labour transition in recent years would not ordinarily bode well for the Queensland solar PV industry. New South Wales and Western Australia both saw their Solar Feed-in Tariff incentive programs eliminated completely after Liberal governments replaced Labour there.
However, the outlook for solar power in Queensland seems to be fairly positive, with the new Queensland LNP Treasurer himself having made comments to the effect that the scheme will not be changed, although other ‘redundant’ carbon abatement schemes will lose funding. Queensland’s Solar Feed-in Tariff is guaranteed to continue until July 2028, although the rate may be subject to change by Parliamentary decision. According to the Queensland Office of Clean Energy, the scheme is in place not only to reduce carbon emissions, but also to promote job creation in the solar industry. “The Scheme is designed to make solar power more affordable for Queenslanders, stimulate the solar power industry and encourage energy efficiency.”
Queensland’s Solar Feed-in Tariff scheme is currently the most generous in the country, and solar PV system owners in the state benefit from attractive returns on investment (ROI) and shorter payback periods than the residents of other states.
Solar Choice has a network of installers throughout Australia, with a particularly diverse range of installers in the Sunshine State, indicative of the health and vibrancy of the solar PV industry there.
© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
Top image via the ABC
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