Victoria Feed-in Tariff Inquiry Issues Paper Released: Submissions due 19 March

Update 3 Sept 2012: The Victorian government has announced that systems must be installed and all paperwork submitted by 30 September 2012 in order to secure eligibility for the Transitional or Standard Feed-in Tariffs. Once secured, rates will remain in place until 31 December 2016. Read more.

The Victorian Competition & Efficiency Commission has released an Issues Paper relating to the inquiry into the state’s Feed-in Tariffs. The inquiry will look into Victoria’s Standard and Transitional Feed-in Tariffs, as well as the now concluded Premium Feed-in Tariff in an attempt to evaluate the efficacy of this approach to renewable energy subsidisation in the light of Federal renewable energy support schemes, the introduction of a carbon price, and a significant drop in the price of solar PV systems. All stakeholders, including households and industry players, are invited to submit comments by 19 March 2012.

What must the Feed-in Tariff Inquiry Commission decide?

The terms of reference require the Inquiry Commission to evaluate the design, efficiency and effectiveness of feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in the context of a national carbon price. As such, it looks into not only the issue of feed-in tariffs, but also the issue of distributed generation (e.g. small-scale power systems connected to the grid). According to the Issues Paper, the Inquiry “intends to analyse FiTs from the perspective of whether they improve the well-being of the community as a whole, rather than promoting the interests of particular industries or groups.” This can only be accomplished by considering the objectives of the policy and whether or not they are being achieved. The Inquiry will therefore consider the objectives of Victoria’s feed-in tariffs as well as their design.

The Commission will eventually answer a number of questions in relation to the state’s feed-in tariffs. These are:

-Should there be a feed-in tariff?

-If so, should the feed-in tariff be regulated?

-If the feed-in tariff is regulated: 1) should it apply to all technologies (for example, solar, wind, biomass, etc) and 2) to what size generation capacity should it cover?

Victoria feed-in tariff inquiry ‘Requests for Information’

The Issues Paper lists a number of “Requests for Information”; topics on which stakeholders may submit comments, which must be submitted to the Inquiry Commission by 19 March 2012. Specific instructions regarding how to engage with the Inquiry are detailed in section 5 of the report.

A draft report is due out in May of 2012.

For more details, download the VCEC Victoria Feed-in Tariff Inquiry Issues Paper (pdf)

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© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

James Martin II