With a new Australian carbon price voted in, irrespective of political positions Australia can no longer be accused of ‘dragging its feet’ or being a ‘climate change bludger‘.
Australian Carbon Price
Finally with this Australian carbon price decision, after four years of frustrating manoeuvring by lobby groups and destructive attempts by climate sceptics there is tangible action on the table. The volatility surrounding this legislation has made a mockery of democracy. In 2007 the Australian people clearly wanted something to happen and the establishment of a new economy that addressed climate change that would deliver leadership for our region in the world.
The Realities of an Australian Carbon Price
The price on carbon, as Malcolm Turnbull former Liberal Party leader correctly points out, will come at a cost. It is not a wasted cost and will be an investment with large returns in the future. Our lives and those of our children and our grandchildren will be more secure with an Australian Carbon Price strategy adapting effectively to and curtailing, extreme climate change.
What does the future hold for feed in tariffs in WA? The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia has summarised the outcomes of a recent forum. Please click on the image to download the full report and feedback from participants.
Forum report Aug 2011
Ceasing the Feed in Tariff WA Will Negatively Impact the Entire Solar Industry
Amongst the key industry messages from the forum is the warning the cessation of the feed in Tariff WA will impact the solar PV industry negatively. The affected industries will be not only the wholesale, retail and installation companies but those supplying and servicing each of these sectors. When policy changes without well co-ordinated transition from one system to the next, entire industries can collapse. In NSW some companies have lost 75% o their staff and job losses in the sector are estimated to be over 3,700 people.
Resetting the Level of Feed In Tariff
The forum discussed setting a fair price and was clear that a level of $0.07 would be seen to benefit Synergy and unfairly impact the consumer. What is a fair margin on the price of energy? Back in 2007 APVA suggested a fair price to be between $0.13 and $0.16 per kWh for exported energy. Four years later a fair price for feed in tariff WA should be higher.
Investments Need Clear Policy Directives
Setting different rates for exported energy according to when an installation was made, is seen as unsatisfactory and inequitable to the consumer. To avoid boom and bust cycles the solar industry needs a degree of certainty in policy direction from government. This has not been the case with the policy decisions regarding feed in tariff WA.
Action to Review the Ceasing of Feed In Tariff WA
Calls to action include an industry and consumer petition for a committee enquiry into renewable energy and feed in tariff WA. The Association would welcome a meeting with state governent officials to present the view of the solar industry and offer solutions. In all an improved mechanism is called for and a demand that the voice of the consumer be heard on this matter.
The industry is seeking an extension to the feed in tariff WA cap until a longer-term solution can be achieved.
See the full report Feed In Tariff WA and review articles on related topics; solar industry budget cuts, solar energy rebates australia, carbon tax and passive solar homes.