Queensland caps Solar Bonus Scheme
The Queensland Government has announced it has capped the state’s Solar Bonus Scheme at $54 per year. Effective from 9 July, the scheme will be amended for new applications, with a review taking place into the altered costings.
State Energy Minister Mark McArdle said that the scheme, which begun in 2008, had achieved the desired results of stimulating the solar PV industry and had helped make solar energy more affordable.
“Rising future costs associated with delivering the scheme means change is essential to protect Queenslanders from significant power bill increases,” he said.
“The Commonwealth Government’s energy white paper found solar schemes were increasing energy costs for energy consumers who could not afford to install solar PV panels.”
The Minister said modelling of the current solar bonus scheme showed it would cost every household $54 a year by 2014/15. This would cost Queensland about $1.8 billion by 2028 if the bonus scheme remained unchanged at 44 cents per kilowatt hour.
Changes outlined by the Government 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.