Energy Minister Stephen Robertson high-fived Queensland households and businesses yesterday for their enthusiastic participation in the state’s solar power revolution and sought to quash rumours circulating in recent days that the state’s initiatives were facing problems. At the opening of a ‘Bright Thing’ solar forum in Hervey Bay, the Minister said over 107,000 Queensland households were reaping the rewards of solar energy through Bligh Government initiatives; in particular its solar panel feed in tariff program. “It has become the most successful scheme of its type in Australia, offering householders 44 cents per kilowatt hour for any surplus electricity generated by their roof-top solar panels that is fed back into the electricity grid,” he said. Responding to rumours of Queensland solar power schemes being a victim of their own success and stalling due to electricity infrastructure issues, Minister Robertson stated this was not the case. “The vast majority of all PV system applications for households continue to be approved by Ergon and ENERGEX. However in some instances where a solar system is particularly large in size a more comprehensive technical assessment needs to take place.” While most other states have reduced solar feed in tariff incentive rates in recent months, Queensland solar energy remains steadfast; with the government stating it has no intention of cutting incentives at this point in time. However, the Bligh Government will examine all of its renewable energy targets, including solar, during a review of the Queensland Renewable Energy Plan. Queensland solar energy has already exceeded solar targets and now has over 500 megawatts installed capacity, a level attained 3 years ahead of schedule thanks in part to the state’s solar feed in tariff scheme. After September 30, when South Australia’s solar feed in tariff rate for new applicants is cut from 44c per kilowatt hour to 22 cents, Queensland solar energy program will be the most generous in Australia.
by Energy Matters