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Solar bodies say NSW government is falling behind on policy

25th Jul 2011

A promised review of the NSW solar policy has stalled according to the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Part of the outcome of the Government Solar Summit three weeks ago was a review of NSW's solar plan, however the peak bodies are concerned by the current lack of progress.

Both the AuSES and SEIA believe that despite a wealth of consultation, their advice has been overlooked and no policies are close to being ready.

The concern comes after the Clean Energy Council (CEC) has also struggled to produce a result after direct consultation with the NSW government.

AuSES chief executive officer John Grimes: “The more organisations we have supporting this vital renewable energy industry, the better. But this is not the time for long, drawn-out negotiations, which are costing jobs and killing the industry.”

The lack of a resolution is having an immediate effect on state's solar industry.

Earlier this month Grimes said that: "Every day this solution sits on a desk in government is 73 solar jobs lost."

It is their belief that without state policy, the public's adoption of solar power will slow and the solar industry will be unable to grow.

Both bodies have agreed to a proposal which involves a 1:1 fair price for solar.

The model means that homes which are producing solar power via PV systems installed in their homes can expect to fairly reimbursed for the excess power they feed into the grid.

Grimes believes that their recommendations should be acted upon, as all parties will achieve a reasonable outcome and no-one will be left short or taken advantage of.

 "We aren’t asking for handouts, special treatment or extra money. If there is no solar policy, people with solar systems can’t do anything with their excess power except give it to the utilities for an unfair price," he says.

Under their proposed plan, both solar and non-solar houses will benefit by the introduction of solar power systems.

The importance of government policy to assist in the widespread adoption of solar is proving to be crucial around the world as countries with government support see more dramatic developments in the solar sector than those without it.

At federal level, Australia has recently seen a number of announcements and initiatives that aim to push the country towards a clean energy future.

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