Australian news, and some related international items

Victoria’s Premier Baillieu – out to destroy renewable energy

Victorian Solar Incentive Cut – Reactions by Energy Matters, 3 Sept 12,  The new, “fairer” feed-in tariff for roof-top solar panels in Victoria appears to be anything but – and the race is on for households to secure the higher rate before the deadline hits. The new tariff will be slashed from the current 25c + up to 8c electricity distributor contribution to just 8c per kilowatt hour for households lodging the necessary paperwork after September 30. The rate will  be adjusted annually in line with the wholesale electricity rate. According to Melbourne-based Energy Matters, the deadline provides little – and in many cases, no time – for households to acquire a system.

The company is urging those considering solar panels to call Energy Matters on 1300 727 151 as soon as possible to discuss what the change will mean to them, as it will vary according to circumstances. Environment Victoria was particularly scathing of the changes, stating the Baillieu Government has broken a key election promise to provide ‘fair reward’ for solar households.

“Ted Baillieu has dumped his promise to support the Mallee solar farm, he’s made it harder to build a wind farm than a new coal-fired power station, and now he’s slashed household and business solar support. At the same time he’s handing out tens of millions in cash to the big coal companies,” said Victoria McKenzie-McHarg. “It’s fair to ask what this government has against clean energy?” she said. The Clean Energy Council stated the rate was too low. We’re obviously disappointed at this decision to reduce support for solar power, which will make it harder for everyday Victorians to reduce their power bills and put industry jobs under pressure,” said Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh. Labor’s energy spokeswoman, Lily D’Ambrosio, slammed the decision.

”The Baillieu government has again shown it just doesn’t care about supporting families who want to reduce their energy costs while also doing their bit for the environment,” Ms. D’Ambrosio said according to a report on The Age web site. Information from Energy Matters’ web site shows a good quality 5kW solar power system installed in Melbourne can slash a household’s electricity costs in the region of $1,920 annually under the higher feed in tariff incentive arrangements; an amount that will be significantly eroded under the new system.

September 4, 2012 - Posted by | energy, politics, Victoria

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