The New South Wales Government has reversed its policy on solar power – meaning households with solar energy systems will soon be paid for all of the electricity they generate.
The state Government is adopting a gross feed-in tariff system for solar energy rather than the net model which is in place in other states.
The Environment Minister John Robertson says it means households will be paid for all of the electricity produced by solar panels, not just the surplus which is fed back into the grid.
“It will be the highest payment for families anywhere in the country at 60 cents per kilowatt-hour,” he said.
“This will provide households the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and also ensure they’re generating electricity using solar cells.”
The opposition’s Catherine Cusack says the scheme has long been Coalition policy.
“This is a victory for Barry O’Farrell who has argued all along that only a gross feed in tariff will provide the industry with the kickstart that it needs,” she said.
The scheme will only run for seven years.
But Greens MP, John Kaye, says that for it to make a real difference it needs to run for 20 years.
“We will be moving to amend the scheme to make it a scheme for the long term,” he said.
“To give solar electricity the future it needs in New South Wales, for jobs and for greenhouse.”