Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Photovoltaic energy broke records and together with wind energy lowered European electricity markets prices Photo by Cynthia Shahan/CleanTechnica.

Clean Power

Solar Tax Coming For Australia?

Ironically, it was John Howard, a long serving Australian Liberal (Conservative) Prime Minister, who brought in subsidies for household rooftop solar in Australia (circa 2007). As well as subsidies for the upfront purchase, there were generous feed-in tariffs (FIT). The solar system on my roof was installed in 2009 and I have a feed-in tariff of 56¢ a kWh. It is only a 2.6 kW system. Most quarters, I get a small credit.

Nowadays, the subsidy for installation is still there and most systems are over 6 kW (one of my neighbors has 12 kW), but the FIT is down to 8¢ a kWh. This forward thinking policy has led to Australia having the highest solar penetration per capita in the world, with approximately 3 GW expected to be installed this year alone.

Every year, concerned citizens worry that this will be the year when our solar bonanza will end — the subsidies will be over, the FIT will go. But solar citizens vote, so the federal government is reluctant to act. However, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has given the go-ahead for networks to charge domestic solar producers to export to the grid — essentially, a solar tax. It’s not over yet — in Australia’s overly complicated energy market and political system, this rule must be legislated by the state energy ministers. Ah, passing the political buck — it will be the states’ fault, not the federal government’s. Hopefully the states will also realise what a vote loser this will be.

The AEMC is taking the user pays their fair share approach. If you want to be connected to the grid, you have to pay for the poles and wires. (Hang on a minute, don’t we pay a connection fee of $30 a month for that — even if we don’t use any electricity at all?) Apparently, there will be some options — you can export a small amount for free or pay to export more. However, the network may have the right to deny any exports at all. Thank goodness these rules will be phased in over 4 years.

As Gabrielle Kuiper of IEEFA states, “The rule maker has endorsed an unhelpful solution to a future technical issue that has already been solved by network engineers.”

I won’t be surprised to hear that more and more people will be heading off grid. The price of batteries is coming down and many state governments are subsidizing those as well in the hope of setting up virtual power plants. With all this technology change happening, the incumbent power companies just can’t keep up.

Personally, we pretty much use all the power we generate to power the house and charge the car, so it probably won’t affect us. My neighbor, on the other hand, might find it makes a big impact. Be aware, if you are making an income off the roof of your house (as he is), you get taxed on that at 30% as well — in this country, we love our tax. That’s why we are taxing EVs as well!

For most of us, it will be smart to use our own power as much as possible. Buy an EV, charge when the sun is shining.

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


You May Also Like


Today, society faces 3 major challenges in the built environment: ensuring building safety, improving sustainability, and addressing our affordable housing crisis.


We have reached a moment in history when our actions will determine the viability of our planet and the life it sustains—and to ensure...


Aline repeated this phrase “the good old days” many times as we enjoyed a coffee together in Brisbane, Queensland. I was intrigued by what...


In sales pitches for methanol and ammonia for maritime fuels, the numbers don't add up, and the omissions are glaring.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.