Thegovernment of New South Wales has approved a gross feed–in tariff forrooftop solar systems, thus allowing households and small business whoinvest capital to build and maintain these systems to sell energy backto the electricity grid – at a premium.
Endorsed by the Australian Conservation Foundation,the ACF says “this is a key step in tackling climate change and is amodel that should be replicated nationally”. “The NSW Government’sdecision to introduce a gross feed-in tariff for rooftop solar systemsis a step forward on tackling climate change and making our homes moreenergy efficient” the ACF said in a recent interview.
A gross feed–in tariff means that households and small businesses can take advantage of the sunshine that falls in that region.
“If we are to secure a clean, safe energy future for our kids, it isvital we have a strong commitment to renewable energies like solar”said Monica Richter, Manager for ACF’s Sustainable Australia Program.“Solar produces clean reliable energy at times of peak demand, so itmakes perfect sense that it (energy from panels) should be priced at apremium rate” she added.
The premium price offered reflects the value of the electricityproduced at the time of peak demand and corrects the market failure ofpaying today’s photovoltaic (PV) owners on a fraction of the peak price.
Internationally, grid connected solar PV is the fastest growing powergeneration sector. Germany, Japan, Spain and France are big consumersof solar PV. All these countries have feed-in tariffs to support theirsolar industries.
Recent research by Access Economics for the Electrical Trade Unionfound a strong national program could generate up to 22,000 additionalclean energy jobs over the next 10 years in Australia.