Sun Sinking on Solar?

February 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Sun Sinking on Solar?

03/02/2012 , 11:02 AM by Liz Hedge

 We’ve been taking a closer look at renewable energies and electricity prices this week after Dugald received a flyer for a company offering solar systems at greatly reduced rates in NSW.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has some State government parameters to work with, and has the job of recommending any new pricing plans by April. Dugald spoke to the NSW Chairman of the Solar Energy Industries Association, Geoff Bragg about IPART’s draft policy and what could happen when the recommendations are handed down.

“At the moment there’s 12 retailers in NSW, seven of them are paying nothing for export and five of them are paying between 5.5 cents and 8 cents per kilowatt hour for exported energy,” says Mr Bragg, “So, in terms of a feed in tariff that’s the worst in Australia at the moment and when IPART makes its recommendations in April its draft report that was released in November is suggesting that they’ll be setting a…voluntary price for the retailers, they are going to set a target price that they believe the retailers ought to be paying for the energy and it’s suggested at about eight to 10 cents.”

Today we heard from Rob Stokes, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy about the state government’s role in the pricing process.

“Certainly they’ve been feed in tariffs all around the country and around the world and recent experience has been from virtually every jurisdiction is that those feed in tariffs have been wound back and the reason for that is that the price of solar components have fallen dramatically and so most governments were caught out offering very very high tariffs that actually forced other energy consumers to pay a premium when the cost of solar product was coming down so dramatically.”

We also heard from Pepe Clarke, CEO of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW on how to reduce electricity costs if you live in a rental property where installing solar isn’t an option. You can get some of those tips in the NSW Sustainable Renting Guide.

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