The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Western Australia Backs Down on Solar Feed-in Tariff Cut

Western Australia’s government today announced a reversal of its earlier decision to retrospectively halve its AUD $0.40/kWh feed-in tariff (FiT) for residential solar power, only four days after announcing it.

Premier Colin Barnett said in today’s weekly cabinet meeting that the decision to cut the FiT had been a mistake. In a statement he said, “Quite simply, we got this decision wrong and we have to fix it.”

The state’s budget, announced last Thursday, said the FiT would be retroactively halved to $0.20/kWh in a bid to save $51.2 million over the next four years. But since then MPs have been deluged with protests from angry voters, including a petition organised by solar advocacy group Solar Citizens which the group said gathered 8000 signatures in just three days. Solar Citizens also began a campaign to focus on unseating politicians holding marginal seats in solar-heavy areas. (Read our blog post from Nigel Morris of consultancy Solar Business Services, who was involved in the campaign, here.)

The strength of the protest caused a political firestorm, with The West Australian newspaper reporting that criticism even came from within the governing party. The paper said MP Rob Johnson threatened to vote with the opposition for the first time in a 20-year political career, while Liberal backbencher Peter Abetz accused the government of acting unethically. But the real surprise was the mobilisation of what the government estimates are 75,000 solar-owning voters in the state, which apparently frightened politicians in light of Australia’s upcoming federal election on 7 September. 

In his statement, Barnett said, “We have listened, and we appreciate the commitment that many people have made to take up renewable energy, like solar power.”

Barnett has denied that he was pressured into rescinding the Fit cut, saying he “was not prevailed on,” according to The Australian. But he also said, “You can’t ignore it. There’s an election on and it’s never good to have a controversy during an election campaign.”

Australia’s Sustainable Energy Association said it was “delighted” about the reversal, calling it a victory for the community and for renewable energy. "The government wildly underestimated the anger this would generate in the community, as we've seen over the last few days," said SEA chief executive Kirsten Rose. "It was an ill-considered decision in the first place. Reversing it is the right thing to do.”

Rose continued, "Credit to the Western Australian government for recognising the important role that residential solar PV plays in reducing our demand for non-renewably generated electricity, and in reducing the need for costly network upgrades. Our hope is that this will further reinforce to governments – in WA, across Australia, and globally – the high level of public support for renewable energy." 

A 2011 attempt to cut a solar FiT in New South Wales ended in what Warwick Johnston, chair of the PV Directorate of Australia's Clean Energy Council, called a “humiliating backdown.”

Lead image: Solar panels on suburban Australian home, via Shutterstock

Read more solar energy news here.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Suntech Parent Company Buys Majority Share of US-based Suniva

Ehren Goossens Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd., the Hong Kong-based solar company controlled by billionaire Zheng Jianming,...

Sunrise in Pakistan as the Country Delves into Solar PV

Robert Harker Pakistan has joined the list of countries that are exploring solar power as a means to bridge critical energy generat...

Global Renewable Energy Roundup: China, Kenya, Turkey, India Seeking More Renewables

Bloomberg News Editors China is being encouraged by three industry groups to double the nation’s solar-power goal for 2020 to make up for sh...

Why Smarter Grids Demand Smarter Communications Networks

Mark Madden

Historically, utility networks and communications networks have had little in common.

PRESS RELEASES

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

New local energy partnership brings innovative solar tracker to Washington State

A new partnership will bring the innovative AllEarth Solar Tracker solar electric syste...

Solar Frontier's CIS Modules Are Selected For 26 MW Project In North Carolina

Solar Frontier supplies its advanced solar module technology, CIS, for a 26 MW project ...

20 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 20 days to go to t...

FEATURED BLOGS

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Shedding Some Light on a Taxing Situation for Community-Shared Solar

For renters and for property owners with inadequate roof space, the many benefits of solar electricity may seem out o...

NATiVE Recognized for Excellence at 2015 Greater Austin Business Awards

NATiVE Recognized for Excellence at 2015 Greater Austin Business Awards NEWS RELEASE AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 27...

Solar Energy Means Jobs, Savings, and a Low-Cost Future [infographic]

There are a lot of utility-sponsored legislative and regulatory attacks on solar energy lately, and we put together t...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Tildy Bayar is a journalist focusing on the energy sector. She is a former Associate Editor on RenewableEnergyWorld.com and Renewable Energy World magazine.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Intersolar North America 2016

Exhibition: July 12 - 14, 2016; Conference: July 11 - 13, 2016 Intersola...

Intersolar Europe 2016

Exhibition: June 22-24, 2016; Conference: June 21-22, 2016 Intersolar Eu...

1-1/2 Day Photovoltaic System Fundamentals Workshop

Participants will learn how to assess the solar resources available at a...

COMPANY BLOGS

Pushing Beyond The Cushion

Efficiency projects are all too often viewed as “optional” o...

Less Is More

When you’re giving a presentation, one of the easiest things to do...

Captivology

One of the biggest challenges we face as efficiency sales professionals ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS