Thursday, June 25, 2009

Victorian feed-in tariff introduced with improvements

I have just received a media release from Energy Minister Peter Batchelor stating that the Brumby Labor Government’s feed-in tariff legislation passed by the Victorian Parliament on 25 June 2009.

The final structure of the Victorian feed-in tariff includes:
  • 60 cents credit per kilowatt hour for energy fed back into the grid within that year. This is about four times the current cost of electricity in Victoria.
  • The tariff is paid to residences, community organisations and small businesses with energy consumption less than 100 MWh a year
  • An array size limit of 5kW applies
This outcome is a significant improvement on the feed-in tariff initially proposed by the government. Amendments introduced in the Upper House which improved the scheme include:
  • extending participation to community organisations and small businesses with energy consumption less than 100 MWh a year
  • increasing the array size limit from 2kW to 5kW
Two electricity retailers have also provided letters which state they will provide cash or rollover credits for energy produced, rather than these credits "expiring" as was initially proposed.

The additional amendment put by the Greens for the tariff to be paid on the gross output (rather than the net output) was not accepted.

The tariff does not apply to large scale solar or wind either, so there is potential to further improve this legislation in the future.

On balance, this is a significant improvement over the legislation initially proposed. The government states that the amendments were made "in response to input from responsible environment groups" which demonstrates that the efforts made to contact politicians and build community support for a good feed-in tariff were successful.

Well done ATA, Environment Victoria, Climate Action Groups and everybody who spent time and considerable effort on this campaign.

2008 Feed-in Tariff rally at Parliament

External links


Anonymous said...

Although I am pleased to see solar power get a sort of subsidy, I just can't really agree with the solar panel lobby about the feed tariff on some things:
- why should it be gross not net? Surely having it gross would encourage over consumption
- why should it be set at such a high level (a multiple of the actual cost of power). This seems very unfair to other power users.

- Also it seems that by setting such a high tariff for solar panels, we are discriminating against other technologies that have a much higher potential, such as solar thermal and wind power.

Peter Campbell said...

I am not part of the "solar panel lobby" if there is such a thing. I have solar panels and know they work. I also think the German experience of creating thousands of green jobs making and installing panels is a good story we should emulate.

The tariff should be gross because it is there to encourage installation of solar power, and every watt generate is clean. Gross is also much simpler to calculate and much fairer to lower income households that only have a small array of 1kW or less. Under a net scheme they won't get much at all, if any.

I agree that the tariff should also apply to all clean energy, including wind and solar thermal. Currently the federal and state government are avoiding this, although it was recommended in the national feed in tariff legislation.

There should be national legislation - a plethora of different state tariffs makes no sense at all. ACT gross, Vic, QLD and SA net, different caps etc - it is a dog's breakfast.

BbErSeRkK said...

any ideas which 2 retailers offered the cash back?

BbErSeRkK said...

never mind found it:

Mr Batchelor said it was pleasing to see two electricity retailers – Origin and AGL – had announced they would provide cash or rollover credits after 12 months under the scheme.

Anonymous said...

We currently have solar on the roof of our house in Dromana. Our electricity retailer is Simply Energy. We already have the new digital electricity meter.

How do I go about applying for the new premium feedin tarrif

Peter Campbell said...

We have a smart meter too - they fit them with every grid interactive system. I am not sure when they start paying the new feed-in tariff - I think they need to get systems in place to read the data in 30 minute blocks from the meters. This may be happening early next year. You need to check with the Government and/or your retailer for exact dates.