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Revolution: South Australian Bill follows Victoria: small consumer may sell-back solar to the grid

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

South Australia’s Energy Minister P.F. Conlon in the second reading debate on the Electricity (Feed in Scheme—Residential Solar Systems) Amendment Bill in the South Australian House of Assembly on 12 September 2007 explained the new policy which was to allow small consumers to sell-back solar, to the grid. Who gave the advice:Adelaide Thinkers in Residence such as Professors Stephen Schneider and Herbert Girardet supported the introduction of a “feed-in-tariff” — a premium price paid to those who are prepared to invest in solar panels. Also, the Chairman of Green Cross International, Mikhail Gorbachev, wrote to the Government and recommended the introduction of the feed-in scheme.”

Academic and international support: “South Australia remains in the vanguard with its climate change legislation, and its strengths in centralised and decentralised renewable energy generation,” Conlon said. “The [Bill] represents another step in the development of a coherent and purposeful strategy to keep South Australia at the forefront of governments facing the momentous challenge of climate change.

Growing support for comparable schemes: “Feed-in schemes have been implemented in many jurisdictions internationally as a means of promoting renewable power generation,” Conlon said. “By 2005, at least 32 countries and 5 States or Provinces had adopted such policies, more than half of which have been enacted since 2002. However, this legislation, which stipulates a premium feed-in tariff, is a first for our part of the world in providing a specific bonus for owners of solar panels. In Europe, at least sixteen EU states have introduced feed-in mechanisms to support renewable energy sources including solar electricity.”

Home-grown scheme for competitive market: “The Government has investigated similar schemes around the world but has not found one that could be directly implemented in the context of Australia’s National Electricity Market,” said Conlon. “By consulting the electricity and renewables industries, regulators and energy officials, a scheme has been developed that is suited to the competitive electricity market that exists in South Australia. Other jurisdictions are following our lead. The Victorian Government has introduced an amendment to its Electricity Act to guarantee small renewable energy generators a ‘fair price’ for any excess electricity they produce. The form it might take is yet to be specified and it is our hope that the lessons learnt from South Australia going first with the specific scheme will be disseminated widely around Australia and South East Asia.”

Reference: P.F. Conlon, Minister for Energy, House of Assembly, South Australia, 12 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 16/9/2007

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