The following response to the state government’s announcement that it will reduce the Victorian feed-in tariff comes from the Alternative Technology Association.
The Baillieu Government has announced today that it will reduce the Victorian feed-in tariff to a level that is lower than the value of solar electricity in the energy market, according to the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).
The Victorian Government has announced its response to the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission’s Inquiry into Feed-in Tariffs for Victoria.
The Government will reduce the feed-in tariff rate for all household generators to eight cents per kilowatt-hour (8c/kWh).
Damien Moyse, ATA’s Energy Policy Manager said “The evidence suggests that electricity generated by solar systems is worth more than the average price of electricity in the wholesale market.
“Solar generates at times of high demand and reduces wholesale electricity prices, which leads to lower bills for all other consumers.”
Whilst the ATA was pleased to see a number of the policy aims, including the continued use of a legislated minimum amount, the inclusion of other sustainable technologies and smoother processes for grid connection, the lower feed-in rate falls a long way short of the economic value of electricity from solar in the energy market.
“Unfortunately the Government has been swayed by the interests of electricity retailers, at the expense of Victorian households and businesses who invest in their own generation,” said Mr Moyse.
“The proliferation of solar and other forms of distributed generation is in direct competition with the retailers, because they also own large-scale electricity generation infrastructure with which renewable energy is in direct competition,” said Craig Memery, ATA’s Renewable Energy Specialist.
“As a long term strategy, we should be investing more in distributed generation to overcome the inefficiencies of our electricity market. More distributed generation will bring down the cost of energy for all consumers.”
Frustratingly for consumers, the government has also chosen to end eligibility for the current feed-in tariff at the end of September 2012, a year earlier than recommended by VCEC.
The ATA is a not-for-profit consumer organisation providing independent advice on renewable energy, water conservation and sustainable buildings.
Damien Moyse, ATA Energy Policy Manager: 0439 900 692
Craig Memery, ATA Renewable Energy Specialist: 0412 223 203