It will be interesting to see how interest and installation numbers of solar power in Brisbane will be over the next year. With expectations of a coalition win in the upcoming Federal election there could well be changes in how the renewable energy sector, including solar power is viewed.
After 5 or so years of what were probably excessively favourable solar feed tariffs available – the Queensland 44 cent tariff being a case in point, the pendulum has certainly swung the other way with state wide solar tariffs being but right back or eliminated completely and we are seeing increasing coverage in the Brisbane press of stories looking at the impact of solar panel installations on ‘non-solar’ households – the gist of the articles being that home owners in Brisbane who have not installed solar are effectively subsidizing the residents who have had solar installed. The ‘subsidization’ is attributed to:
- the cost of the feed in tariff
- additional network costs as a result of the number of Brisbane homes connecting their systems to the grid.
Taking a step back from these issues we think it is most probably down to a poorly thought through incentive scheme – both at Queensland State level, when the initial feed in tariff was set and possibly also at the Federal Government level – though less, in our opinion.
Future direction For Residential Solar In Brisbane
Our view is that despite the sometimes negative press and reports about solar installations the vast majority of home owners who have installed solar are and will continue to benefit from their investment. Rather than the current State and Federal ‘ad-hoc’ approach to renewable energy in Australia, it is hoped that a long term vision and plan will be designed and implemented to keep Australia on the correct track fro renewable energy, including:
- Further development of Australian solar technology
- A common State feed in tariff approach with a long term view – giving energy regulators, energy providers and home owners some ‘certainty’.
- A commitment to incrementally increase renewable energy targets over the next 30 to 50 years.
We watch with interest.