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Victoria’s solar feed-in tariffs to be cut

The Victorian Government plans to cut the state’s feed-in tariff for electricity fed into the grid from rooftop solar panels by more than half, The Age reports this month.

Accroding to Energy Minister Michael O’Brien, the premium rate of 60 cents per kilowatt hour will be cut to 25 cents from January 1 next year.

The new rate will apply for people with panels who have not submitted the required paperwork and reached a contract agreement by September 30.

Households already receiving the 60-cent rate will be unaffected.

The new 25-cent scheme is currently under review by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission.

Mr O’Brien said the new scheme would be a “fair and reasonable” incentive for households to install solar systems.

“Unlike many other states, which have closed down all feed-in tariff schemes, Victoria’s will provide a fairer, more sustainable approach which reduces the boom/bust cycle for the industry,” he said.

The solar industry and environment groups have criticised the new scheme, with solar businesses stating that a solar feed-in-tariff of at least 40 cents was needed to ensure the continued growth of the industry.

Environment Victoria campaigns director Mark Wakeham suggested the government had broken an election promise by reducing the solar tariff without consultation, just days after introducing the country’s most restrictive laws for wind farms.

“This announcement caps off a disastrous week for renewable energy in Victoria. It appears that the only plan the Coalition has on climate change is to ensure Victoria misses out on the clean energy investment boom,” Mr Wakeham said.

 

The review of feed-in-tariffs is expected to report in the second half of 2012.

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