Page 545 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 21 February 2012

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Secretary; Miles Boak, the junior chairperson; Denis Axelby, the general manager of cricket; Donna Wah Day, the communications officer; Jill Shepphard, the chairperson, women’s committee; and Bob Hall, the chairman. The men’s first grade captain is Sam Gaskin and the women’s contact is Jill Shepphard.

I commend to our Assembly the work that is carried out by all of the volunteers and people associated with this fine community club—the North Canberra Gungahlin Cricket Club.


MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.49): I rise this afternoon to share with the Assembly an interesting article that appeared recently in the BusinessDay section on 17 January this year in the Sydney Morning Herald. The article was by Matthew Wright, who is the executive director of think tank Beyond Zero Emissions. It is headed, “Creating electricity at home the cleanest and most sensible option under the sun”. The subheading is “Solar energy benefits the state”—in this case, New South Wales—“by providing electricity at much cheaper rates than those of traditional sources”. I am going to take the opportunity to quote some of the sections of the article. He starts by saying:

It may appear counterintuitive, but getting millions of solar panels onto rooftops saves more money than it costs. Feed-in tariffs enacted by state governments have enabled ordinary Australians using their savings to build a solar power station at home benefiting the community.

When those solar households who had saved to get their panels installed under the solar feed-in tariff programs export their solar production to the grid, which occurs mostly during higher demand daytime periods, they are given a slightly higher than average retail rate for the electricity they are selling. The prices they have been paid are relatively meagre when compared with the ridiculously high rates paid to big coal or gas power plants.

At the same time that little solar households who have invested their money in a rooftop power station are being paid between 44c and 60c per kilowatt hour, the old power companies with their dirty belching coal and gas plants are receiving as much as $12.50.

In other words, the coal and gas guys are being paid as much as $11.90 more than a home solar generator for just one unit of electricity.

I will skip ahead a little bit. He goes on to say:

This is not the full story. At other times when your home solar system is generating, the coal plant may be receiving 6c, 8c, $1, $3 or $5 but you’re still getting a steady 44c to 60c. The reason customers were getting an average price under the state programs is because it’s too difficult for ordinary home owners to set up a trading desk and participate in the national electricity market. So the 44c to 60c range is much more reasonable when you take into account the wild fluctuations that occur daily as power generators use their market power to game the electricity market, which ultimately is costing consumers.

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