10 September 2008
NATIONAL: The Clean Energy Council, Australia's peak renewable energy body, appeared before the Senate Environment Committee yesterday to provide evidence for the implementation of a gross national feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar PV – a scheme which pays households and businesses a premium rate for all the renewable electricity they produce.
The inquiry hearing took place across the last two days with the majority of speakers voicing their preference for a gross national feed-in tariff. Out of a total 127 submissions made to the Senate Inquiry,
- 80% supported a gross FIT (pays for all electricity, including that used on-site);
- 12% did not show preference;
- 8% not in favour of FIT policy;
- 1% favoured a net FIT (only pays for electricity sent back to the grid).
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will be discussing a nationally consistent feed-in tariff at their next meeting scheduled for 2 October 2008. "A gross national feed-in tariff is key policy for Australia's solar PV industry, as it pays peak demand prices when the solar PV system is generating electricity and this allows the technology to compete against and reduce demand for high-emission fossil fuel power" said Ms Gaffney.
More than 19 European Union countries have already introduced gross feed-in tariffs to encourage further take up and use of solar PV. "We're looking forward to receiving the conclusive findings of the Senate Inquiry and will continue to lobby for a nationally consistent gross feed-in tariff to ensure that every Australian can benefit from acting on climate change." The Clean Energy Council remains committed to ensuring renewable energy, like solar PV, plays a significant part in Australia's future energy mix and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.