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Queensland Feed In Tariffs controversy PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 April 2008 12:27
There is a controversy building in Queensland around proposals to introduce Feed-In Tariffs. Why should it be controversial, after all they've worked well in Germany and California to boost demand for solar and other renewables to get the volumes up to where they will be able to compete with Fossil Fuels (with all their hidden subsidies). The controversy revolves around the form of the tariff. South Australia, earlier this year adopted a feed-in tariff in name only - offering 44c/kwh but only on net metered power. This means that for 99% of residential installations there is no benefit at all, because they are never producing more power than the home uses. Queensland made an announcement on 11th March, that appeared to suggest it was going to be "Gross" metered, i.e. the owner of the solar system would be paid for ever kwh they generated, whether they consumed it themselves, or fed it back to the grid. Many organisations congratulated them for getting it right. But then the details emerged and Department of Mines and Energy are writing a "Net" metered Feed In Tariff after all. Queensland Conservation are one such group that is more than a little annoyed at this backtracking, and have published graphs showing how most households will get no benefit. It remains to be seen whether Queensland's government will revise this to actually have some effect rather than be just greenwashing, and now is a good time to tell any Queensland politicians you know that a REAL feed-in tariff is needed to stimulate Renewables in Queensland.