This week the Western Australian government has announced that the current solar panel rebate scheme is being axed. It seems the popular scheme has been a victim of its own success and the budget couldn't be stretched to meet the huge demand for the scheme. Effective immediately, no new applications will be accepted.
The government already reduced the feed-in tariff from 60 cents per kilowatt hour to 40 cents and then down to 20 cents in May. Rebates will continue to be paid to existing users for the 10 year agreed payment period.
Unsurprisingly, the decision to axe the scheme so suddenly has angered solar industry experts and businesses who have questioned why they weren't given fair warning that the scheme was fast approaching its cap.
We're sorry to see the WA feed-in tariff reduce. It appears to have been a great success in promoting the installation of solar panels. We're not sure that it yet makes economic sense to install solar panels without a subsidised feed-in tariff as is claimed, but the proof will be in the pudding. It'll be very interesting to see how many solar installations happen this year. We don't think it will be half as many as the government expects.
In the meantime, we'd like to encourage the government to support medium and large scale solar in sunny WA. Now we've got 150MW of installed capacity on individual residential roofs, it would be good to see some large-scale installations on the tops of the commercial property out there. A prime candidate would be for supermarkets and shopping malls - solar can seriously reduce the load that the massive aircon units place on the grid on a sunny afternoon.
To read the full article about the scrapping of the scheme in WA click here: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/energy-smart/wa-solar-rebate-scheme-too-popular-to-continue-20110801-1i7lc.html
To learn how to monitor your solar generation and to reduce your electricity bill with an EnviR home energy monitor from SmartNow click here: http://www.smartnow.com.au/smartnow-current-cost-solutions/i-have-solar/