Thursday, March 12, 2009

Clean green jobs or protection for polluters?

This post was published as a letter to the editor in The Age on 13 March 2009.

Peter Batchelor's recent announcement that the Victorian government will be seeking proposals for a solar power station sounds promising, but this potential project is not fully funded yet.

At the same time, Peter Batchelor announced that Victoria's proposed Feed-in Tariff legislation has a net tariff structure with a 3.2kW array size cap.

The stated intention for the Feed-in Tariff is to provide incentives for the installation of domestic solar systems. However, the proposed tariff structure greatly reduces the financial incentives to households, which conflicts with its primary purpose. Why cap something you are trying to encourage?

The government has not provided a valid explanation for their proposed tariff structure. It is at odds with the proven effective gross metered tariffs that Western Australia and the ACT have just implemented, similar to Germany's which has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in their solar sector.

The Brumby government should stop playing politics and get serious about solar and creating jobs for a clean green energy future.

See also


Anonymous said...

Batchelor's office kept on spamming me with their 'promotions and projects'. Marketing is obviously more effective than action.

Peter Campbell said...

Yes, the send out their garbage press release spam but refuse to answer any questions of substance. So much for democracy. The big end of town runs government.

simon said...

I think it is important to understand that the so called German model was not so much about generating electricity as it was, and is, about providing the incentives to develop a domestic industry. As far as electricity goes, it amounts to little (in Germany). However, gross feed-in has been spectacularly successful in building a domestic, and now export, industry.

You can't really build much of an export industry without a domestic industry.

Regrettably, if we are successful in our calls for 100% renewable energy by 2020, we may be largely relying on importing and consuming German equipment and know how - thus boosting their exports.

However, it's never too late to start building a domestic industry. Once we have one we can think about getting into the main game of exporting. A gross feed-in tariff demonstrates a good way of encouraging this development. Electricity generation is more of a side benefit.

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