Will LGCs Pay More Than STCs on a 10-100kW solar system?

solar panels

There are 2 subsidies for solar under 100kW: STCs (AKA the ‘solar rebate’) and the lesser known LGCs. Which one will give you the better return?

Update 23rd Feb 2018: Solar installations of 100 kilowatts or less now only receive STCs.  However, applications made before March 31st 2018 for systems of 10 to 100 kilowatts may be accepted under the old rules and permitted to receive LGCs.

Many people are aware the Renewable Energy Target, or RET, lowers the cost of rooftop solar.  This is often called the solar rebate, even though that term is not entirely accurate.

But what few people know is, provided their system is large enough, they have a choice in the type of assistance they receive.  A household with a 10 kilowatt rooftop solar system can either accept Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) or Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).

Almost all solar systems 100kW and smaller, currently being installed use STCs because they are all deemed immediately after the installation whereas LGCs are deemed annually over 15 years.

At the time of writing (July 2016) STCs are $38 each whereas LGCs are at a sky high $82. This has made some savvy solar installers wonder if using LGCs instead of STCs might create a better return for patient solar owners. [Read more…]

Canberra reshuffle: Mr Coal gets the job but is it all bad news?

josh frydenberg

Josh Frydenberg is in charge of energy. Should we be worried?

Like experienced card sharps waiting for the deal, all eyes were on the Canberra environment portfolio reshuffles last week. This following the near-disastrous election result for the Coalition where hopes were high that Malcolm 3.0 may have “got the message” on renewable policy. [Read more…]

Will Malcolm grow a pair on solar power policy?

malcolm 3.0

Will Malcolm 3.0 take on the anti-solar brigade in his party, like Malcolm 1.0 did?

Last week we touched on how the newly-elected Malcolm Turnbull could take on the anti-renewables wing of his party to implement sensible and far-reaching reforms. This week we examine whether Mal 3.0 has the stomach for the fight…and what this means for solar power policy in Australia. [Read more…]

Is renewable policy Turnbull’s road map back to the centre?

malcolm and a sun

Is Malcolm Turnbull More Worried About Climate Change Battering Australia Or Right Wingers Battering Him?

Eight days after the election, it looks like the LNP will be returned with a slender majority.  What does this bode for renewable policy in Australia? [Read more…]

Election 2016. Solar is safe only if Nick Xenophon’s Team supports it.

marcom turnbull and renewable energy

Turnbull’s submission to the right on issues such as renewable energy has not worked out so well for him.

Ah yes. Turnbull’s big gamble of calling a double dissolution election to regain control of policy looks like it’s failed. And failed miserably. Not only has the Coalition been stymied in its attempt to gain control of the Senate, it hasn’t yet been confirmed as having enough seats to govern in its own right in the Lower House.

For the solar industry this is most likely good news.  A Liberal controlled upper and lower house would almost certainly have resulted in another attempt to kill the Renewable Energy Target, and with it the solar rebate. That is unlikely to happen now. [Read more…]

Election 2016: renewables roundup week #7 – the Brexit Edition

brexit text on solar

Q. What does the Brexit mean for Australian Solar? A. Higher prices.

Well that was interesting wasn’t it folks? Just as the Australian election was drifting off into the sunset, we get hit by the arrival of an enormous, loud and dangerous elephant in the room. I’m talking of course of the surprise Brexit result where Brits voted to exit the European Union, a result that sent shock waves across the world.

Prime Minister Turnbull was quick to grace our screens (sans the hi-vis vest and hard hat this time) to assure us — in his most statesmanlike voice — that the vote would not affect Australia in any way. The fact that he looked like a kid hauled before the headmaster, with a trembling bottom lip and shaky “wasn’t me, wasn’t me” speech didn’t make him look that convincing though.

Next came Bouncing Billy Shorten, who will now see his chances of winning the election recede, also determined to tell us that his party’s policies are the best choice in these now choppy waters. [Read more…]

Election 2016 — renewables roundup week #6

wind energy worker

What’s been going on in Week #6 of the election campaign?

If jobs and growth are really the cornerstones of the Coalition’s election campaign, they’d be well served by promoting a more pro-clean energy platform, according to a report released by the Clean Energy Council. [Read more…]

Election 2016 — renewables roundup week #5

wind turbines in a field

Why does Nick Xenophon hate wind so much?

A bit of housekeeping before we launch into the Election 2016 renewables roundup for week #5. Last week we touched on the growing interest in the independents and — in particular — the rise and rise of the Nick Xenophon Party, especially in the senator’s home state of South Australia. [Read more…]

Election 2016 — Renewables roundup Week #4

As Election 2016 reaches the halfway point, it’s time to consider a few possibilities in our weekly election renewables roundup. With the polls tightening even further, what chance is there of another hung parliament? More importantly, what does that mean for renewables such as solar energy development in Australia over the next three years?


The spectre of a hung parliament raised its head in Week#4.

[Read more…]

Election renewables roundup Week #3

pollution from coal power station

As the polling gap closes, climate and renewables are conspicuously absent from the mainstream debate.

Our election renewables roundup for week 3 sees the polling gap between the two major parties to be the width of a cigarette paper with Bouncing Billy Shorten closing the preferred prime minister margin.

The closeness of the campaign shows a single issue cuts across party and demographic lines, is popular amongst the majority of voters and may be the difference between winning, losing or a hung parliament. [Read more…]