According to the report, fundamental changes to existing solar feed-in tariff (FiT) schemes are required to ensure they are sustainable, equitable and efficient.
The draft report is part of a public inquiry referred to the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) by the Victorian Treasurer in January 2012.
The Treasurer asked VCEC to assess Victoria’s feed-in tariff schemes and to identify barriers to the further development of a network of renewable and low emissions generation, in the context of the impending national carbon price.
The report contains draft recommendations to change existing FiT schemes to:Article continues below…
- End the transitional FiT scheme by either 31 December 2013, or once the previously announced 75 MW of capacity is reached, whichever comes sooner
- Move to a competitively determined FiT by December 2015
- Change the standard FiT, which now applies to generators of less than 100 kW other than small solar PV, to include all low emissions and renewable technologies; require retailers to offer a ‘fair and reasonable’ price (indicative ‘fair and reasonable’ prices would be published, updated and monitored by the Essential Services Commission); and require retailers to publish their FiT prices.
Deborah Cope, the VCEC Commissioner who led the inquiry, said “The proposals in this draft report aim to cut barriers to connecting small and medium scale low emissions generators to the network, and moving towards a competitively set FiT for all low emissions and renewable technologies.”
Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said that many of the VCEC recommendations were sensible, but that there was a risk consumers could miss out on as much as half of the money they were entitled to for their solar power.
“We agree that as the cost of solar power continues to drop we should move beyond incentive based feed-in tariffs to a system where consumers are simply paid the fair value for their solar power,” Mr Marsh said.
“The Clean Energy Council has analysis to show that the fair and reasonable value of solar is between 12-16 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity.”