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Now you’re paying for large business solar panels

By johnboy 18 February 2011 28

sol invictus

Liberal Leader Zed Seselja is pointing out that the changes under way to the feed-in-tariff scheme (whereby people who own properties get paid outrageous prices for solar power generated on their roofs at the expense of everyone else) will mean large businesses can now effectively gouge the less well off.

“Canberra families will be paying more for their electricity while larger companies reap the profits of the Government’s scheme under these changes,” Zed said.

Late last year it was revealed that the scheme would add $225 to Canberra household’s annual electricity bill.

“The scheme is highly inequitable for households who can’t pay for the upfront costs of solar panels on their roofs but are forced to pay for large businesses and corporations who can.

“Labor and the Greens are recklessly driving up the cost of living for Canberra families – It’s homeowners who will be forced to pay the additional $225 every year for this policy, and the Canberra Liberals cannot support this,” Zed concluded.

Interesting that Zed forgets, again, the existence of electricity users who do not own their own houses.

Simon Corbell in turn is celebrating the changes:

Key aspects to the amended feed-in tariff legislation include:

— re-naming the existing household component as Micro Generator;
— creation of the Medium Generator and the Community Based Generation categories;
— introduction of capacity caps for both new categories (15 megawatts each);
— provide for a mechanism by which the Premium Price applicable to each category may be set and reviewed; and
–extend scheme eligibility to include not-for-profit community organisations.

“These amendments will enable both individuals and community organisations greater access to the scheme and a greater ability to do their part in reaching our greenhouse gas emission targets,” Mr Corbell said.

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury on the other hand wants even larger facilities to be paid for by the renters and public housing tenants:

“The Greens are concerned that Government moves to cap the micro-generation scheme at 15MW will have too sudden an impact on the industry,” Shane Rattenbury, Greens Energy Spokesperson said.

“There are sound economic reasons for winding back support for small scale solar, but the Greens think it should be done more gradually so that we don’t end up with the NSW situation here in the ACT – a quick rush before the deadline, followed by a collapse in the number of solar schemes being ordered by consumers.

Shane is, however, advocating for reducing the tariff as solar panels have become much cheaper.

What’s Your opinion?


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Now you’re paying for large business solar panels
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Classified 11:00 am 14 Jun 11

pandaman said :

Short sighted, unfairly implemented and I’d wager, fairly innefective at achieving your long term clean energy goals.

Best summary of the scheme I’ve heard yet.

Trad_and_Anon 10:04 am 14 Jun 11

MrBurmester said :

No one is ‘subsidising’ anyone’s power use in the Feed-in-Tariff.

….

The Bill that was passed yesterday costs ACT electricity consumers an average of $27/year over 5 years – right now, only 7MW is installed and it’s around 20 cents a week; when the full amount is installed, it will be around $1/week.

This looks like a contradiction to me. It costs me money that goes to someone whose power bills are reduced. That is a subsidy. The money for the feed in tariff has to come from somewhere. It comes from the pockets of the poor buggers who are unable for a variety of reasons to put up dolar panels.

As far as I can tell, the solar feed in tariff a mutant love child of the greens doctrinaire authoritarian fantasy with economic rationalist authoritarian ideology. It produces public policy that is grotesque.

Again, the poor get to pay for the better off.

Trad_and_Anon 9:54 am 14 Jun 11

Brianna said :

Chaz said :

the Greens seem to want to raise the price of everything. Is that how they want to fix everything?

Apparently, yes. If they make everything more expensive then the public is much less likely to use it therefore we all go back to what it was like before we knew about carbon footprints. A lot less air con, less heating, less car travel, etc.

Yes. And then we will have the answer to the question: What is it like to live in Pakistan, Indonesia or some other third world country. Vote Greens – and experience third world deprivation!

Diggety 11:37 pm 24 Feb 11

MrBurmester said :

Seems like a good time to step in and straighten the record a bit…

Energy costs money, whether it’s coal or solar. When private money is invested, a return is expected – or should people only make money producing power from coal?

The Bill that was passed yesterday costs ACT electricity consumers an average of $27/year over 5 years – right now, only 7MW is installed and it’s around 20 cents a week; when the full amount is installed, it will be around $1/week.

And finally, we did get our words right…and our units right. The 15MW we were talking about is the total installed capacity of the micro generation scheme – a new provision put in the Bill yesterday. The Greens thought it was better to use existing mechanisms to lower the tariff rate gradually rather than capping the total installed capacity for micro schemes at 15MW. You’d get roughly the same amount of capacity, but with a whole lot less angst for industry who is trying to plan ahead, but keep having the goalposts moved.

[I am a Greens advisor]

MrBurmester,

I’m after some background, primarily technical/cost analysis and sources the Gov/Greens have used for policy development. Could you help me out?

P.S. If not, Skidbladnir?

breda 3:37 am 23 Feb 11

Mr Burmester (Greens adviser) said:

The Bill that passed the Assembly also allows community groups to put up solar projects, so if you are a renter or you just have a bad roof for solar, the legislation will now allow you to join a community project, or even lease roof space in a different location. There’s pretty much no reason that people can’t participate if that’s an investment they want to make.

Energy costs money, whether it’s coal or solar. When private money is invested, a return is expected – or should people only make money producing power from coal?

———————————————————————————————————–

‘When private money is invested, a return is expected – or should people only make money producing power from coal?’

I agree – so please advise me how I can make money from burning wood and coal in my fireplace, which takes pressure off the grid. Also, since I sometimes produce excess energy (eg after I have gone to bed), how can I get connected to the grid and be paid for the excess energy that is produced? You did say that people deserve to be paid for producing energy, whatever the source.

“if you are a renter or you just have a bad roof for solar, the legislation will now allow you to join a community project, or even lease roof space in a different location.”

That sounds wonderful. Could you please explain how joining a community project will reduce my electricity bills, and by how much? Oh, and a list of community projects would be helpful.

I would love to lease some roof space – it sounds so practical for a household that is struggling to pay the bills. It is no wonder that I am not a Greens policy adviser, because I have no idea how that would work. Perhaps you could enlighten me? I have a $400 electricity bill in front of me, and winter is coming. It’s great to think that your policies will make a real difference.

I cannot express how much I am looking forward to your response.

pandaman 11:18 pm 22 Feb 11

MrBurmester said :

Seems like a good time to step in and straighten the record a bit…

No one is ‘subsidising’ anyone’s power use in the Feed-in-Tariff. Feed-in tariffs encourage private investment by paying generators for their electricity at a higher rate than coal fired electricity. So if you put private capital on the table to install solar panels, then generators are paid for the electricity they generate at a rate that pays them back for their investment, and then a little more on top, as an incentive. If it’s a big system, that upfront investment can be tens of thousands. Feed in tariffs leverage private investment that governments are unlikely to make.

The Bill that passed the Assembly also allows community groups to put up solar projects, so if you are a renter or you just have a bad roof for solar, the legislation will now allow you to join a community project, or even lease roof space in a different location. There’s pretty much no reason that people can’t participate if that’s an investment they want to make.

Energy costs money, whether it’s coal or solar. When private money is invested, a return is expected – or should people only make money producing power from coal?

The Bill that was passed yesterday costs ACT electricity consumers an average of $27/year over 5 years – right now, only 7MW is installed and it’s around 20 cents a week; when the full amount is installed, it will be around $1/week.

And finally, we did get our words right…and our units right. The 15MW we were talking about is the total installed capacity of the micro generation scheme – a new provision put in the Bill yesterday. The Greens thought it was better to use existing mechanisms to lower the tariff rate gradually rather than capping the total installed capacity for micro schemes at 15MW. You’d get roughly the same amount of capacity, but with a whole lot less angst for industry who is trying to plan ahead, but keep having the goalposts moved.

[I am a Greens advisor]

Hmmm, amateurish attempt at market manipulation, failure to recognise that the very definition of subsidisation perfectly describes what is occurring, displaying a misguided belief that photovoltaics are in fact worthy of subsidisation and furthermore a total failure to recognise that low income earners will be unfairly targeted by a blanket price increase. Yep, I’d say you are in all probability, a Greens advisor.

How can you not see that raising everyone’s electricty prices to encourage a guaranteed return investment by already wealthy idividuals in one particular “renewable” energy source is not a good idea? Whether you open it up to “community projects” or not is irrelevant, a significant amount of capital is still required, and I seriously doubt it would fit the investment pattern of the average bogan.

Another thought, If this scheme were to catch on on a large scale (which I doubt, due to the occasional rational person actually practicing economics in high places) it could even have potential to stifle development of some of the more exciting clean technologies out there like solar-thermal, tidal and even cleaning up fossil fuel technologies.

Short sighted, unfairly implemented and I’d wager, fairly innefective at achieving your long term clean energy goals. but best of luck to you, I live in NSW. 🙂

georgesgenitals 10:48 pm 22 Feb 11

Brianna said :

Chaz said :

the Greens seem to want to raise the price of everything. Is that how they want to fix everything?

Apparently, yes. If they make everything more expensive then the public is much less likely to use it therefore we all go back to what it was like before we knew about carbon footprints. A lot less air con, less heating, less car travel, etc.

Good luck with that.

Diggety 7:48 pm 22 Feb 11

MrBurmester said :

[I am a Greens advisor]

[I am a Taxpayer]

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