The unexpected overnight re-closure of the feed in tariff scheme has highlighted the need to remove the cap on the scheme according to ACT Greens Energy spokesperson Shane Rattenbury.
“No-one anticipated this cap would be reached in just over 48 hours,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“The good news is that this represents a phenomenal private investment in solar in the ACT, and even more installed capacity for clean energy.
“However, once again we have reached an artificial cap. This situation should never have arisen, and the Greens argued against the imposition of a cap. Feed in tariffs are designed to work by reducing the tariff to manage uptake. The prospect of a deadline is what is driving these unsustainable rushes.
“The recent Greens legislation could only ever play the role of a paramedic arriving on the scene trying to keep a patient alive. Labor and Liberal created this car crash by putting the cap in place.
“We need to recognise the medium to long term value the FIT is creating. These FIT contracts are a fixed price for 20 years at 30c per kilowatt hour.
“Electricity prices have risen more than 50% since 2005/6 and if that continues, we will be paying 30c for grid electricity within 10 years. That will make the fixed price contracts for solar look like a great deal, and will help insulate the Canberra community against further price increases.
“The long term price insulation could be even greater. The demand at 30c for the FIT suggests we could wind the tariff down even further, getting more fixed price contracts at even lower prices.”
Shane also notes that while large scale solar in the ACT is still stuck in the briar patch of scoping studies we now have 30mw of small scale solar.