Tasmania’s feed-in tariff rate drops; South Australia’s is the next to go

Tasmania’s 1-for-1 solar feed-in tariff closed to new applicants over the weekend, with Solar Choice seeing a surge in Tasmanian enquiries leading up to the deadline. What’s next for solar power in Tasmania? Meanwhile, the deadline for South Australia’s transitional feed-in tariff is not far away, with applications due by 30 September.

Solar power in Tasmania: What’s next?

Tasmania’s solar feed-in tariff rate has been, for the time being, reduced to 8c/kWh, and will remain so until the end of the year. After 2014 begins a new rate will be determined, but it is unlikely to increase significantly, if at all. What does this mean for those Tasmanians who are thinking about interesting a solar PV system?

Although precedent does not always dictate the future course of events, it can be a good predictor of how things will go. There are analogies to the Tasmanian feed-in tariff situation all across Australia–NSW, WA, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and the ACT have all now had feed-in tariffs come in at first generous, to eventually be reduced after phenomenal success. Underlying the idea of subsidisation for renewable energy anywhere is the the goal of bringing the cost of generating clean electricity closer to that of cheaper, dirtier technologies such as coal. In an ideal world, subsidies are gradually withdrawn as prices come down.

Is solar power still worth it in Tasmania? Yes.

Solar panel prices have indeed come down significantly, but it would be hard to say that subsidy rates have been decreased in anything approaching a systematic and incremental way appropriate to these price decreases. Nevertheless, prices have dropped such that solar systems are proving a worthwhile investment everywhere that feed-in tariffs have been cut, and the same goes for Tasmania. Given the high price of electricity–currently about 28c/kWh–solar systems  will pay themselves off in 5-6 years, with returns on investment well over 12%, especially for homes and businesses that consume the bulk of their electricity during daylight hours.

South Australia’s transitional feed-in tariff deadline approaches

Are you a South Australia resident thinking about going solar? Now is a good time to make the move, as the state’s transitional feed-in tariff will close to new applicants at the end of the month. Read up about how SA’s transitional FiT works and learn about why it’s worthwhile to get in before the current rate expires.

Check out your options in Tas and SA

Want to learn more about solar options in your state? Request a Solar Quote Comparison by filling out the form to the right of this page or have a chat with one of our brokers by calling 1300 78 72 73.

© 2013 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

James Martin II