New jobs, economic growth and fewer greenhouse emissions are the ‘win-win’ result for NSW following the government’s decision to increase the rebate for households to install solar panels and also pay them for the extra electricity they generate, the Nature Conservation Council of NSW said today.
The Premier has announced households will receive an increase in the rebate available for installing solar panels by $1500 and that a ‘gross feed in tariff’ will be introduced, paying households for thee extra electricity they produce.
Executive Director Cate Faehrmann said the Premier’s decision is a first but welcome step toward cleaner, safer energy alternatives and that it opens the way for NSW to become a powerhouse of renewable energy production.
“There are practical measures, such as incentives for solar panels but also others such as demand management, that are ready to go now and which the community wants action on,” Ms Faehrmann said.
“Political leadership on these critical energy decisions will determine whether there is a diverse economy in the future that provides opportunities for both jobs and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, or whether the worst impacts of climate change become a reality.”
Ms Faehrmann also urged the Premier not to undo the positive decision on solar energy by going ahead with a new coal fired power station.
“The government has said it will build two new power stations. So far, one will be gas-fired but it is vital that a second is not coal-fired as this would dwarf the positive decision on solar power.”
The NSW Government has decided to switch from a net feed in tariff model that only pays for surplus electricity produced and exported to the grid, to a gross model where all power generated by a home solar power system will attract a premium payment.
It's understood that the feed in tariff rate will be 60c per kilowatt hour. The generous rate will allow home owners to receive a much more rapid return on their investment for installing solar panels, Ms Faehrmann said.
“This is a great decision by the NSW Government. I urge the Government to go further by introducing an ambitious demand management target and rejecting any further expansion of coal-fired power in this State,” said Ms Faehrmann.