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ACTEW to push back on Solar plan

By Jazz 7 August 2007 48

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.

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48 Responses to
ACTEW to push back on Solar plan
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Slinky the Shocker 2:16 pm 10 Aug 07

Yup, I agree, let the markets decide!
Oh, wait… we are already putting huge investments in nuclear and clean coal technologies. Ideological investment, I call it. Share these investments across all the options and let the market decide!
I personally know a few energy industry heads that bid hands down on renewables.

Ralph 11:34 am 10 Aug 07

Yeah Slinky, the government should pick technology winners. They have such a marvellous record of getting it right in the past.

Carbon tax, then let the market decide.

Nothing to do with conservative ideology. Personally I’d rather that markets decide what’s competitive for Australia. Should we be making BMWs as well??

Slinky the Shocker 11:14 am 10 Aug 07

Yup… free ride, but NO PROFIT and no added jobs! THAT was my point above.
“There is also 250 000 jobs in that industry (a lot, considering the noise that Kevin Rudd makes about 20 000 coal jobs in Queensland).”

But as I said… conservatives tend to hold ideology above profit.

Ralph 10:34 am 10 Aug 07

Listen slinky, I’m more than happy for German and US taxpayers to subsidise solar technology. That doesn’t mean we should be doing it as well.

It’s called comparative advantage.

If through their taxpayer funded R&D for solar technologies we see that technological hump being busted, and solar becomes economic, fantastic. We get to buy it on the cheap, without ever having chucked a dime in. Thankyou, German and US taxpayers. Free ride.

Jazz 10:29 am 10 Aug 07

Yes but the difference in both of cases you cite is that the public is not expected to foot the bill directly out of a levy imposed by a utlitiy.

Ahh Nigeria – when my 40 million dollars turns up, you won’t see me for dust!

Slinky the Shocker 10:02 am 10 Aug 07

PS: Before some smart ass points out that the Australian economy is actually dominated by services, I was talking about Australia’s exports.

Slinky the Shocker 9:58 am 10 Aug 07

That was a really constructive comment, Jazz! You didn’t learn your argumentative skills from Lexi Downer?

It’s not just Germany. The Yanks, led by the Governator are pumping a hell of a lot of cash into NREL and other sites that do kick-ass research on renewable energies. All energy companies are investing, too. And guess why? No, they are not loopy greenies – but because that’s where the big future $$$ lie.
But if the Libs (and Labour, co-led by Mr Uranus Garrett) want to keep the Australian economy (‘the clever country’) comparable to Nigeria or Angola (all primary production and mining – no value adding), then SO BE IT. Just don’t bitch that you have been left behind.

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