One effective way to encourage investment in solar power would be to reward panel owners for the unused power they can feed into the electricity grid, suggested an article in The Age (26 September 2006, p.15).
Dirtier sources penalised: It says many people in the solar industry are calling for the introduction of a "feed-in tariff", where a small levy is added to all power bills. The money is then used to pay households or businesses for their excess solar power at a higher rate than that paid to dirtier sources.
Not a new idea: Governments in Germany, Italy, China, Indonesia, Spain, South Korea and Switzerland have kick-started their industry with such a tariff. A draft proposal prepared by BP Solar and Conergy, says a feed-in tariff would cost the typical power consumer the equivalent of one cup of coffee a year (presumably about $3).
Solar power station mooted: Melbourne firm Solar Systems has proposed a $420 million solar power station in north-western Victoria that could power 40,000 homes.
Boeing bids for taxpayer dollars: Solar Systems and Boeing have developed the project using PV technology designed for satellites. They have applied for Federal funding from the low emission technologies fund.
Divergent policy signals: The State Government has also legislated to require electricity retailers to meet 10 per cent of their energy needs through renewable sources by 2016. But the Victorian Opposition has pledged to scrap the scheme.
The Age, 26/9/2006, p. 15
Source: Erisk Net