Sunday, 9 September 2012

Industry to ride "solar-coaster" as Victorian Government cuts support

Clean Energy Council
3 Sep 2012

The solar industry is bracing itself for yet another boom-bust cycle following today's decision by the Baillieu Government to slash the incentive for Victorians to purchase solar power systems, according to the Clean Energy Council.

Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said the national solar industry had seen so many ups and downs due to government policy changes that it had coined its own phrase – the "solar-coaster". "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," Mr Marsh said.

"It is appropriate that the Victorian government reduces the level of its support scheme, given the recent reduction in the cost of solar power systems. However, the proposed feed-in tariff of 8¢ per kilowatt-hour is too low and does not reflect the fair and reasonable value of the electricity and other benefits that solar power systems provide to our energy system."

Mr Marsh said the Victorian solar policies to date had been very successful. "The solar industry now employs approximately 4800 Victorians and has stimulated $1.34 billion of private investment in Victoria. This change could have a serious negative impact on an industry that has been delivering major economic benefits to the state," he said.

Energy Minister Michael O'Brien announced today that the Victorian Government would reduce the level of support to householders under the Victorian feed-in tariff scheme from 25¢ per kilowatt-hour down to 8c at the beginning of next year.

Mr Marsh said recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed that Victorians from all walks of life were installing solar power systems to save on their electricity bills. "If you've thinking about installing solar power, it's definitely the time to do it – but you also need to make sure you do your research.

Download the Clean Energy Council’s consumer guide from,” he said.