The Queensland Government has today announced changes to the Solar Bonus Scheme (SBS) for new applications after midnight July 9, 2012. The Feed-in Tariff FiT) will change from 44c to 8c per kilowatt hour.
Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said the Solar Bonus Scheme, which started in 2008, had met its objectives of stimulating the local solar PV industry and helped make solar energy more affordable for many Queenslanders.
Mr McArdle said solar energy uptake in Queensland had grown significantly since the Solar Bonus Scheme started on 1 July 2008.
“Installed solar PV capacity under the Scheme has increased from just 3.2 megawatts in 2008 to more than 461 megawatts today,” he said.
“The number of scheme participants has also increased from 1,200 to more than 180,000 today, meaning Queensland has the largest solar PV capacity in Australia.
“We have also seen rapid growth in the Queensland solar PV industry where strong market demand has seen the cost of solar PV systems more than halve and the number of accredited solar installers rise from 78 in 2008 to approximately 1,100 in 2011.”
People thinking of installing Solar have until July 9 to apply to receive the 44c FiT, if the application is submitted after this date they will only be eligible for the 8c FiT
ARECA believes a “Fair and Reasonable” price for Solar PV is a parity 1:1 retail payment which may require a minor subsidy from the Government, but we believe if the new scheme also includes Net metering with no cash payments to eliminate over sized systems any subsidy required will only be minor.
Changes to the Queensland Solar Bonus Scheme include:
• The scheme will close to new applications effective from midnight on 9 July 2012;
• A replacement feed-in tariff of 8 cents per kilowatt hour will apply from 10 July 2012 and end on 1 July 2014, pending a further review of the scheme;
• Existing Solar Bonus Scheme participants will continue to receive the current 44 cents per kilowatt hour feed-in tariff as long as they continue to meet eligibility criteria; and
• The Queensland Competition Authority will conduct a review and make recommendations by early 2013 on a subsidy free “fair and reasonable” solar feed-in tariff for Queensland.