Australian news, and some related international items

Solar power in Tasmania is an endangered species!

map-Tasmania-solarA Call To Save Solar In Tasmania   11 April 13, An alliance of householders, community groups and businesses including Energy Matters have called on the Tasmanian government  to safeguard the state’s renewable energy future.

“The government is rushing headlong into arrangements for the privatisation of Aurora’s retailing of electricity, including putting legislation to Parliament this week, but has been conspicuously non-committal on the future of feed in tariffs,” said Jack Gilding, spokesperson for the group.

Earlier this week we reported Tasmania’s feed in tariff is one of the most generous active programs in the nation – a 1 for 1 arrangement – but it’s a program without a set duration. This has led to growing concern the incentive could be slashed when Aurora Energy is replaced by private companies in 2014.
Such a change could affect 10,000 households in Tasmania that have already installed solar PV systems and have a dramatic impact on the state’s renewable energy sector.

“It’s not just about solar panels on houses,” said Mr Gilding. “Tasmania has the potential to be the renewable energy powerhouse of Australia. Changes to the electricity market could be an opportunity to harness the potential for many Tasmanians to be producers, not just consumers of electricity. Households, communities, farmers and businesses are keen to invest in these opportunities, but the government needs to provide a supportive policy environment.”

The group is calling for a public consultation and review process that sets a fair price for solar and other small renewable energy technologies; with “fair” being more than the wholesale price of electricity as it does not take into account the many additional benefits of distributed generation.

The group is also seeking guarantees existing tariff arrangements will continue for people who have already installed solar PV systems and those who order before new arrangements are finalised.

Further details can be viewed and a petition signed on the Save Solar Tasmania web site.

April 12, 2013 - Posted by | solar, Tasmania

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