Australia’s Solar Rebate Safe (For Now)

Australia's solar subsidy saved

Federal Minister for Energy Angus Taylor has indicated Australia’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) will be maintained, meaning the nation’s major solar subsidy had dodged another bullet.

The news didn’t break in the form of an official press release or statement from Mr. Taylor’s office, but in an interview with The Guardian published early yesterday. You can read it here, but in a nutshell Mr. Taylor said there’s no change planned or proposed for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) – so it appears Australia’s solar subsidy is safe.

The news came just hours before Solar Citizens representatives were to meet with one of Angus Taylor’s advisors in Canberra. The group delivered an open letter signed by thousands of Australians calling on Minister Taylor to confirm he would not end the SRES early as recommended by the ACCC; a recommendation backed by EnergyAustralia and Origin (and the usual suspects).

Solar Citizens – A People Powered Victory

Solar Citizens was very pleased with the news.

“Together we sent 2,005 emails to MPs, wrote 151 letters to the editor, and collected 9,395 signatures on our open letter to Minister Taylor,” said Solar Citizens National Director, Joseph Scales. “We have campaigned strongly to put this on the agenda in Canberra, working with our friends at the Smart Energy Council. Today is living proof that when we act together to stop attacks on solar we get things done.”

Smart Energy Council – A Huge Win

The Smart Energy Council congratulated the Morrison Government on its decision.

“This is a huge win for the solar industry,” stated Smart Energy Council Chief Executive, John Grimes. “The Smart Energy Council and Solar Citizens have campaigned hard to maintain the SRES. We could not have achieved this fantastic result without the strong support of the solar industry and solar homeowners around Australia, as well as strong support from the ALP and Greens.”

CEC – SRES Vital

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton welcomed Minister Taylor’s confirmation the SRES would be left alone.

“Rooftop solar, backed by the SRES, plays an important role in reducing household and business exposure to higher energy prices,” he said. “It has delivered many significant benefits, including more than $10 billion of consumer investment in the last five years, and it plays a vital contribution to safety and consumer protection by mandating product standards and installation practices.”

With federal Labor also confirming it will not make any changes to the SRES, it looks set to run its course as intended; with the rebate reducing each year until the SRES’s scheduled expiry in 2030 – but that’s not guaranteed. The CEC said it would continue to ensure both major parties are aware of the importance of the scheme.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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