New South Wales to gain gross feed-in tariff policy

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In a move towards the country’s goal for a nationwide gross feed-in tariff, New South Wales has received approval for the changeover from a net FiT to a gross FiT. This means moving from a net policy that only pays for surplus electricity exported to the mains grid, to a gross model where all power generated by a home solar power system will receive a premium payment, reports Energy Matters. This is a momentous move for the state as the country battles on for a uniform policy.

The NSW premium tariff will be set at AUS$0.60/kWh (€0.371719), which is currently the most generous in Australia, and will last for an initial seven year period. This state joins the ACT, which also has a gross FiT policy.

NSW’s new tariff rate will be an addition to the Solar Credits rebates program available in the state. This means that most homeowners should be able to recuperate their entire investment within the seven years. This target will be more easily reached if the provider a homeowner chooses is able to secure higher Renewable Energy Certificates values (RECs) before the recent RECs value free-fall.

Max Sylvester, co-founder of Energy Matters, a renewables energy provider in Australia said, “Finally, another state government, who has seen the light in opting for a gross feed in tariff. The revamped Solar Bonus Scheme is certain to generate a rush on systems in New South Wales.” Max Sylvester, co-founder  Energy Matters, Australia. 

“This is wonderful news for solar supporters in New South Wales and also for the industry. The fact that the NSW government has recognized that a gross feed-in tariff is not only the best way to stimulate renewable energy uptake, but is also an economic stimulus package without the public debt is very encouraging. Let’s hope other states follow the lead of the ACT and NSW, with the ultimate goal being a national gross feed in tariff program”

The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) has also applauded the revisions to the Solar Bonus Scheme. “We welcome the decision to pay households for all the clean energy they contribute to the state’s electricity supply. It is a win for families who are taking action on climate change and for green jobs in NSW.” said Damien Moyse, ATA’s Energy Policy Manager. “We now look to the Rudd Labour Government to ensure that the emissions saved by each of these new solar installations is accounted for under his Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.” 

The NSW policy is yet to be finalized, however it is expected to be passed by Parliament within the next week.

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