The Government's end to the Solar Bonus Scheme for new household solar panel connections to the electricity grid and cuts to the promised return for solar power generated by existing customers undermines business and investor confidence in renewable energy.
Estimates that the scheme will cost $1.9 billion over seven years are reported to be inflated and pale in comparison to the estimated $1 billion annual State subsidies to the coal industry and $9 billion Federal subsidies to fossil fuels.
I asked the Government to honour the contractual arrangements with existing customers in the scheme and to make retailers, who on-sell the renewable energy generated from solar panels, contribute to it.
Coal fired electricity from distant power stations is dirty, inefficient and costly, and drives climate change and electricity price rises. Household solar panels take pressure off the grid, reducing the need for the costly infrastructure upgrades that drive electricity price rises.
Now is the time for governments to review how we generate and distribute electricity and develop a plan to transfer to a low carbon economy.