The Baillieu Government has this afternoon broken a key election promise to provide ‘fair reward’ for those who invest in solar power on their rooftop.
This afternoon Energy Minister Michael O’Brien slashed the Victorian solar feed-in tariff from 25c/kWh to just 8c/kWh. This is approximately one third the current retail rate of electricity in Victoria.
The state’s leading environment organisation Environment Victoria said that Victorian households and small businesses would be worse off with this decision, and disappointed by further backwards steps on our environment.
“Slashing support for solar breaks a key election promise that the Coalition Government would strongly support feed-in tariffs that provide a fair reward for households willing to invest in solar energy” said Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Safe Climate Campaigner at Environment Victoria.
“Victorians love solar power, and families have been willing to fork out their own money to help our environment and take control of their energy bills. But now with this decision from the Baillieu Government, from 2013 households who invest in solar power will actually be subsidising the rest of the market,” she said.
The Baillieu Government’s election platform stated:
“A Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will:
Strongly support feed-in tariffs that provide a fair reward and encourage the supply of renewable and low emissions energy into the grid.” (The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Plan for Energy and Resources, page 11)
The Coalition’s Energy Policy also promised to secure 5% of the state’s electricity from solar power by 2020 – today’s decision further jeopardises that election promise.
“In Opposition the Coalition actually worked with environment groups to improve Victoria’s solar feed-in tariff. Now in Government they are breaking promises and have destroyed the feed-in tariff as a means of encouraging solar uptake.”
“Ted Baillieu has dumped his promise to support the Mallee solar farm, he’s made it harder to build a wind farm than a new coal-fired power station, and now he’s slashed household and business solar support. At the same time he’s handing out tens of millions in cash to the big coal companies,” said Ms. McKenzie-McHarg.
“It’s fair to ask what this government has against clean energy?” she said.
The decision follows a series of attacks on our environment from the Baillieu Government.
“This is just another clear signal that the Baillieu Government is putting mates in the coal industry ahead of the interests of our environment, households and small businesses,” said Ms. McKenzie-McHarg.
For further comment:
Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Safe Climate Campaigner 0428 480 409