Did solar energy get a leg up in the budget?

solar panels

Small business can get a tax break on installing solar. Thanks Mr Hockey!

The Treasurer’s annual allocating of the shekels has come and gone and renewable energy fans are asking about solar energy in the Budget. How did we fare? Were we the subject of further cutbacks, maulings and downgradings as part of this federal government’s campaign against all things renewable?

Well yes and no is the best answer.

Yes because the government found a way to slash the funding of ARENA, one of the best working governing agencies on behalf of renewable energy but no because the feds may have found a way to boost the solar energy sector, without apparently meaning to do so.

The leg up for solar energy in the Budget, which may, or may not have been intentional, comes in the form of the small business package announced by the Treasurer.

“Small business can claim an immediate tax deduction for each and every item they purchase up to $20,000 … anything under $20,000 is immediately 100 percent tax deductible from tonight,” said Mr Hockey, who looked and sounded like Santa Claus with an overdraft, with last year’s Budget emergency seemingly a distant memory.

The new package is a major boost from the previous tax free threshold of $1,000, meaning small businesses have theoretically more incentive to buy assets. This could be investing in a new computing system, updated communications or, yes, installing a solar power system to bring down the company’s energy bills.

As mentioned, it may have been an accident. After all we’ve got used to a slash and burn mentality from Abbott, Hockey and Co, with a highly successful strategy of “if you can’t destroy renewables, delay certainty for so long that investors lose interest.”

Too cynical?

Perhaps small business and should just take the money and run. Renewables in particular have been through a long and unhappy series of cutbacks. Maybe this will kickstart the flow of funding from investors? Then we can say that, for once, solar energy in the Budget came up looking pretty good.

Click here for more details of the tax break for small business solar.


  1. William Sharpe says

    Would it be possible to fund utility-scale projects by packaging the tax credits of many small businesses within a region?

  2. Matthew Deegan says

    I like your “out of the box” thinking William, however I recall in the reading of the budget they mentioned SME’s who acquire assets to help improve their own businesses productivity. I reckon your scenario would be seen as an investment scheme.

    The immediate tax write-off may not be available to SME’s who have used a pay-as-you-go or lease agreement to install the $20k solar system either.

  3. Philip Bramley says

    And so the adults in charge voted against their own “small biz tax initiative” and thats put an end to that. Pathetic!

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