Solar expert blasts Victoria FIT decision

5th Sep 2012

Victoria's new feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme, which pays eight cents per kilowatt hour instead of 25 cents, has been confirmed – and one industry expert is not happy about the announcement.

Nigel Morris, director of Solar Business Services, has launched a scathing attack on the decision and, in particular, the state's energy minister Michael O'Brien for comments made regarding the change.

O'Brien, quoted on ABC News, said FITs are not driving the increasing growth and popularity seen in the solar industry – a remark Morris rubbished.

He said: "Take a look at your own statistics Minister O'Brien – and those of every other state back as far as history goes and look at what happens every time a subsidy is threatened or finishes. Sales plummet."

And he wasn't finished there. Nigel went on to describe the politician's words as "staggeringly ignorant or deceptive", going as far to say O'Brien's "ignorant smirk" when delivering the speech "made it all the more vindictive".

Discussing the reduction in the scheme, O'Brien said there was no need for FITs – as solar prices are plummeting and the cost of electricity is increasing, meaning the technology already sells itself.

Not only that, he added, but when the value of the FIT had been brought down previously (from its original lofty heights of 60 pence per kilowatt hour) it caused a 33 per cent rise in demand.

Nigel, however, is not convinced. He stated: "Duh. That's because everyone could see what was next and rushed in before the axes came out."

He admitted he was not surprised by the revelation, but "wholly disappointed" – noting that the 'announcement' had merely involved a quiet change to the Victorian Department of Primary Industry website.

It would also appear that homeowners wanting to take advantage of the old 25 cents rate may be out of luck, with only those who have already paid a deposit or are mid-way through the process of getting an installation being viable.

Even those who are eligible under these circumstances must make an application by September 30 2012 to count, with the new price coming into effect on December 31.

The rate reduction comes just a week after the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission released a report suggesting that the 25 cent FIT scheme should be closed to new customers this month.

This will make electricity prices more "fair and reasonable" across all consumers, the organisation argued. 

Posted by Mike Peacock

All solar power news categories

Government Rebate & Regulations
Solar Power & Technology

More Government Rebate & Regulations

The election that could cast a deep shadow on solar power
This just in: You are nothing but a means to profit for big utilities and NSW government
The Tongans know a bad solar deal when they see one
Solar feed-in tariffs: Who's getting screwed?
Australian government at a solar power crossroads
WA government admits fault in solar rebate debacle
WA Government saves millions while solar customers are up in arms
SA's solar feed-in scheme costs to rise higher
CEC slams FIT deregulation in SA
Carbon tax announcement 'just a ripple'
Industry reactions to Rudd carbon price changes
New government 'must be made aware of renewable achievements'
Solar features prominently in ARENA funding plans
Calling all solar panel installers - 'save clean technology grants'
Manufacturers set to see bright side of economic slump?
Coalition government 'could spell bad news for solar'
'Not FIT for purpose' - ACT government on tariffs
QLD government under fire for negative solar stance
China's first trading emissions scheme begins
Details of the Queensland solar controversy
Solar panel reprieve for Queensland
Tasmania's solar future no longer too uncertain
Renewable energy funding on the brink
The Clean Energy Council calls for more renewables
Reactions to renewable energy decisions from the 2013-14 federal budget
Federal budget announcement offers a mixed bag
The impact of the carbon tax
Govt energy efficiency success
Renewable Energy Target achievements
New funding for solar panels
Australia and China further carbon cutting collaboration
Examining Australia's environmental efforts
Renewable Energy Target survives its review
Solar powered cinema a possibility
New licensing will make it easier for solar installers to work across states
Renewable recommendations for WA
Renewable energy target hangs in the balance
Deadline approaching for QLD PV installations under 44 cent solar tariff
Electricity emissions down since carbon tax introduced
Reactions to RET review final report mixed
CCA: RET on track to achieve goals
Experts slam Solar Credits decision
Government support 'needed for commercial solar development'
Shadow ministers slam ARENA withdrawal
Industry expert lauds solar PV impact
Australian Solar Council chief hits back at CCA review suggestion
Australian Solar Council debuts solar electorate map
CCA report 'victory for common sense'
Productivity Commission draft 'good for solar'
SA solar campaign reaches government level
 To get your quotes, please enter your postcode: