Friday, 11 September 2009

Let's get Australia moving on solar feed in tariffs!

A feed-in tariff is a premium rate paid for electricity produced by a renewable source such as a grid connected rooftop solar system or wind turbine, usually over and above the market rate.

National gross feed in tariff programs have been established around the world, resulting in increased uptake of solar and wind power systems by home owners and businesses.

We've waited long enough for the Australian Government to act decisively - it's time to push the issue of national gross feed in tariffs; particularly after the recent Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting where principles tabled were far removed from how a feed in tariff system should operate.

Fractured and inadequate state run feed in tariff systems simply aren't good enough. They do not reward system owners suitably and do not recognise the true value that grid connected solar power systems can contribute to stimulating our economy and lowering our greenhouse gas emissions. Lend your support to a gross feed in tariff program that will actually work and make Australia a leading nation in the uptake of clean, green solar power!

Sign the on-line petition here.

To the Parliament Assembled,

Re: Renewable Energy Feed In Tariffs

We, the undersigned, request that Parliament implement a nationalised, simple and uniform renewable energy gross feed in tariff of $0.80 per kWh as soon as possible, rather than relying on individual states to develop and maintain their own systems, most of which offer far below what is required to encourage the uptake of renewable energy systems.

It is crucial that Australia implement a gross feed in tariff model over a net feed in tariff scheme. A net system will only pay on surplus electricity produced, which provides little incentive for home owners and business to make the substantial investment in solar and wind power equipment.

A gross feed in tariff program should pay a minimum of 80c per kilowatt hour of electricity generation which is fair compensation for the production of clean electricity by privately funded installations. The program should operate for at least 15 years and include an initial 6 month period whereby rebates currently in place are still available to allow the solar industry time to adjust and to stimulate uptake in these troubled economic times.

This rate and commitment will give a much needed boost to investment in and uptake of technologies much cleaner than low-emissions coal, with the added benefit of generating thousands of new jobs in the clean energy sector.

Countries such as Germany, a nation with far less solar resources than Australia, have proved the effectiveness of the gross feed in tariff model for many years. Germany now has the greatest solar power capacity in the world and has generated hundreds of thousands of renewable energy sector jobs due largely to their gross feed in tariff program. Australia is lagging far behind and as a consequence, our greenhouse gas emissions are increasing.

Australia has extensive solar resources and we should be making better use of those rather than focusing energies and investment on the long term viability of environmentally destructive coal-fired power generation.. Emissions controls such as Carbon Capture and Storage require as much as 20 percent of the electricity a power plant generates and the long term safety of such processes is still unproven.

It is only with the full support of the voting public of Australia that the Government will meet its goals of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and the people are ready to play their part if given the proper support and tools to do so. It is far better, safer and more economically viable not to produce emissions in the first place, and solar energy and wind power offer proven emissions free power generation.

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