A decision by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to phase out Solar Credits a year earlier is being flagged as a win for the solar energy industry.
The decision means that average government support for a 1.5 kilowatt system in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide would be reduced from about $6,200 to about $5,000. Mark Twidell, the executive director of the Australian Solar Institute, says that the recent announcement by Minister Greg Combet shows that the industry is beginning to support itself without government help.
“The technology costs are coming down. The industry, as it continues to expand, is able to lower prices and the result is that generally governments around the world are reducing the level of subsidy support, which is a good thing,” he says. “If you were to think of solar energy as you might think of a human being, we’re probably just entering our teen years. We’re yet to leave home. I think leaving home is when you can start to look after yourself.”
Twidell believes the government has an important part to play in helping the solar industry to gain independence and compete in the energy market.