The Keneally government has missed an opportunity for harnessing the community’s demonstrated enthusiasm for producing clean energy with rooftop solar panels by cutting the solar feed-in tariff from 60 cents per kilowatt hour produced to a miserly 20 cent rate, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“NSW has enjoyed one of the most successful renewable energy schemes in Australia, but from midnight NSW is back in the dark ages of continuing our over-reliance on coal-fired power,” Chief Executive Officer, Pepe Clarke, said today.
“Unprecedented demand for the Solar Bonus Scheme shows NSW households support a move away from polluting coal-fired power and are ready to generate their own clean rooftop solar energy.
“Rather than capitalising on the faster than expected take-up of rooftop solar energy generation, the Keneally government has been unable to break its coal dependence and instead moved to stifle the ongoing growth of decentralised renewable energy.
“Rising electricity prices for households are overwhelming driven by the escalating cost of infrastructure associated with the existing network, not by the Solar Bonus Scheme.
“Slashing the Solar Bonus Scheme may give the Government coffers a temporary boost in the lead-up to an election but it will cut investment in renewable energy, prevent new job opportunities, and increase the state’s greenhouse emissions.
“There is no such thing as ‘cheap’ coal-fired power in NSW. The future health of our environment, community and economy depend on moving towards a society powered by clean renewable energy.
“The Nature Conservation Council of NSW is calling on the Keneally government to restore the 60 cents per kilowatt hour feed-in tariff rate, not stand in the way of NSW becoming a powerhouse of renewable energy production,” he said.