30 Sept 2011 was the last day for paperwork to be in for both the 44c/kWh South Australia solar feed-in tariff and the 60c/kWh Victoria Premium solar feed-in tariff. Thus ends the first round of state feed-in tariffs that began in 2008. Both states will replace their schemes in a sensible, orderly manner with set feed-in tariff rates that, while not as generous as the previous ones, will remain some of the highest in the country (at 22c/kWh and 25c/kWh, respectively). The Queensland solar feed-in tariff scheme will be the ‘last man standing’, with its generous 44c/kWh rate to remain on offer for the foreseeable future.
Solar Choice oversees 300kW+ capacity installed between the two states
Between the Victoria and South Australia, Solar Choice successfully assisted over 100 customers toward their goal of installing solar power, totaling more than than 300 kilowatts of solar power capacity installed in September alone.
More than 3/4 of our customers were based in SA, where an extremely renewables-friendly government allowed applications up until the last minute, giving preliminary clearance to anyone who applied before the 30 September 5pm deadline. Victoria also provided ample notification before premium feed-in tariff applications were closed. The Victorian scheme, unlike the SA scheme, was was limited by capacity, not by date. Although the nominal capacity of the scheme was 100kW, greater capacity is expected to be installed once the final numbers are tallied up. The conclusion of both schemes will leave solar system installers as well as customers with a relatively good feeling, unlike the abrupt and absolute ends which the New South Wales and Western Australia solar incentive schemes met.
A new era in solar power policy as solar system prices fall
The original intention of state feed-in tariffs throughout the country–not to mention the federal government’s Solar Credit scheme–was to drive down the price of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations by increasing uptake and driving competition. This purpose has most certainly been fulfilled, and in combination with a number of other factors–including the strong Australian dollar and growth in production capacity for solar PV globally–the price of solar power has never been lower or more affordable. Solar power incentives are being scaled back to match this decline in prices, interest in residential solar power is expected to continue on an upward trajectory in Australia.
Read details about the Victoria Transitional and Standard Feed-in Tariffs and the South Australia Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariff.
© 2011 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
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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