Photovoltaic Solar Energy
Photovoltaic Solar Panels - Are currently gaining popularity in Australia due to government incentive schemes such as the Solar Credit Scheme and respective State based Feed-in Tariff schemes.
Photovoltaic (PV) is a great source of distributed clean energy. In the future the cost of PV is expected to come down and their efficiency is expected to increase. Australia’s solar radiation levels are optimal to take advantage of the benefits of Solar PV technology.
Feed-In Tariffs - Excess electricity generated by a designated renewable electricity generation source, such as a rooftop Solar PV system can be fed back into the electricity grid.
A feed-in tariff is the premium rate paid for the electricity that is fed back into the electricity grid.
At present, Feed-in Tariff regulations for renewable energy exist in over 40 countries worldwide. However; in Australia we do not have a nationalised program, only state run schemes. Listed below is a summary of the current state arrangements.
Queensland - The Queensland Government Solar Bonus Scheme commenced on the 1st July 2008. Solar owners participating in the scheme will be paid 44 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for surplus electricity fed into the grid. Local electricity companies may choose to offer additional payments above that.
New South Wales - The New South Wales Government announced details of the state's Feed- In tariff scheme on the 23rd June, 2009. The scheme was revised 27th October 2010. Solar owners participating after 27th October 2010 will be paid 20 cents per kWh on a gross basis. The Scheme is noted for review 2012. The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme is a 7 year program, concluding 31st December, 2016.
Australian Capital Territory - In July 2008, legislation was passed in the ACT's Legislative Assembly for a gross Feed-in Tariff to be implemented. This will pay 50.05 cents per kWh for systems up to 10kw capacity and 40.04 cents per kWh for up to 30kW capacity, with a system capacity cap at this point of 30kW. The program commenced on the 1st March 2009.
South Australia - From the 1st July 2008, qualifying South Australian residents will receive 44 cents per kWh. Not all electricity companies may choose to offer contracts and those that do may add to this incentive.