Queensland Minister for Energy Mark McArdle
Solar Feed-In Tariff De-Regulation Proposed By The QCA
Victor P Taffa
De-regulating solar feed-in tariffs (FiT) across south-east Queensland is one of the options for the State Government to consider in the final report on solar FiT’s by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA).
The report ‘Estimating a fair and Reasonable Solar Feed-in Tariff for Queensland’ to be released today makes a number of recommendations which are yet to be considered by the Newman Government.
Acknowledging the report, Energy Minister Mark McArdle said the QCA had identified that the previous Labor Government’s Solar Bonus Scheme will add 17 % to the average customers bill by 2015-16.
“The QCA in this report have acknowledged that it is wrong that people who can least able to afford to pay for electricity is subsidise customers enjoying the benefits of the Solar Bonus Scheme.” Mr. McArdle said.
The report states:
“When those doing the paying are likely those least able to afford it and those enjoying the benefits are those likely to be most able to afford to meet their true costs, then something is truly wrong.”
Mr. McArdle the Government does not intend to scrap the 44 cents feed-in tariff for existing participants providing they continue to meet the Scheme’s eligibility criteria. The previous Government legislated the 44 cents FiT rate under the Electricity Act 1994 (the Act), which says the tariff is payable until 2028.
He said the Newman Government would now consider the recommendations in the report and prepare a formal response to ensure actions were in accord with the 30 year Energy Plan currently being developed.
“It is important that any response reflects the long-term direction the Newman Government is proposing for the electricity industry.”
“The Queensland Government presently regulates a solar feed-in tariff of 8.0 cents across the state.” Mr. McArdle said.
“The QCA are recommending this de-regulated in south east Queensland where there is a competitive retail electricity market and a solar feed-in tariff of between 7.06 to 14.5 cents for the remainder of Queensland, which does not have a competitive retail market.”
“The Government will now carefully consider the contents and ramifications of this report.”
Mr. McArdle said he acknowledged the thoroughness by the QCA in the preparation and consultation on the report.