Solar Energy Programs Cutback

Solar Energy Programs have been cut back drastically once again, this time to pay for the floods. The Australian Prime Minister has just announced cuts totalling $495 million to offset flood reconstruction budget spending.

John Grimes,  CEO, Australian Solar Energy Society reports on the solar energy programs affected:

Cuts are targeted at:

Solar Flagships – $250M Cut

The Solar Flagships program forms part of the Clean Energy Initiative and provides grants to support the deployment of large scale solar energy generation projects in Australia. The Government will reduce its funding for the Solar Flagships program by a total of $250 million across the forward estimates period, with $190 million of this to be re-phased to beyond the forward estimates.

Impact on underlying cash balance 2010-11$m

Solar Hot Water Rebate – $160M Cut

The Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme – Solar Hot Water Rebate provides a rebate of $1,000 for a solar hot water system or $600 for a heat pump hot water system and is available to help eligible home-owners, landlords or tenants to replace their electric storage hot water systems.

The Government will cap funding from this program resulting in a saving of $160 million over two years.

Solar Homes and Communities Plan  – $85M Cut

The Solar Homes and Communities Plan (SHCP) provided rebates of up to $8,000 for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems. The program ended in June 2009 and residual rebates are still being processed.

The Government will cap the amount remaining available for outstanding claims, allowing $85 million to be redirected to the flood recovery effort.

John Grimes
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Solar Energy Society