Page 4736 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

MR CORBELL: We know the feed-in tariff works in encouraging the uptake of renewable energy generation. We know that it works and we are seeing it work here, on the ground, in the ACT. At the moment, as members would be aware, the scheme is capped to a total of 30 kilowatts in capacity but the government is currently considering options for expansion of the tariff.

Stage 2 of the tariff does have the potential to be made available to larger scale generation and, indeed, generation of a scale which could assist with the development of a large-scale solar power generation capacity for the city. The government is undertaking detailed financial modelling, modelling on the impacts on consumers, as the community would expect, as part of its considerations for stage 2.

We want to make sure the scheme is fully developed before putting out proposals for community consultation. A standard discussion paper will be released later this year. Indeed, it is my expectation that it will be released before the end of this year to allow the community to comment on detailed options for expansion of the tariff to larger scale generation.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary?

MS HUNTER: Minister, have there been any problems that have occurred with the installations of PV, and how have they been overcome—or have they been overcome?

MR CORBELL: I am not aware of any recent problems in relation to consumers being able to install and get the necessary approvals and the necessary connections for solar panels on their homes. There was an initial issue, as members would be aware, around the advice given to consumers about when and how they needed to connect to the scheme, for those who had existing PV prior to the scheme’s commencement. That issue has been rectified. Actew have backdated payment arrangements to the date of the commencement of the scheme for those consumers who already had PV in place and wished to take advantage of the new tariff arrangements.

Since that time, in talking to retailers and talking to installers, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It is working. It is working well. More and more Canberrans are taking advantage of going solar and helping to make Canberra the solar capital.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. How does the installation of domestic PVs through the feed-in tariff build towards a decentralised energy system?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question. Indeed, the installation of PV at a household level does have the ability to create a decentralised energy grid. Obviously, generation close to source, where it is feeding back into the grid, particularly during peak demand periods—hot summer days, for example, with the large use of air conditioning during that period—does assist the overall operation of the grid, as long as it is done in a balanced way and in a way that is consistent with the technical requirements of the grid.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video