CT is reporting a bizarre plan by the government to artificially price solar power so as to make the technology more attractive to private investors. At the moment ACTEW pay a tarriff to renewable energy providers of around 7c per kilowatt. Under this plan proposed by Labor Backbencher Mick Gentleman ACTEW would pay up to 52c per kilowatt. A huge difference given the cost to produce solar and the arguable difference in its efficiency.
It seems that Canberrans would probably pay for the tariff through a levy on their existing power bills, starting at $1-$2 and growing to around 5%. The theory being that everyone will rush out and install solar panels for their power and reduce reliance on the grid. (at the moment there are around 80 homes with it installed)
For info it currently costs $13,000-$15,000 to install 1kw of solar panels in Canberra, although there is an $8000 Federal Government rebate.
The proposal will be put to the assembly next month.