Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NSW solar households to subsidise coal power

In a new twist, the NSW Government has announced that from tomorrow, those generating solar power to the grid will be paid less for each kWh than what they pay for coal power from the grid.

Everyone knows that NSW hasn't had a competent government for many decades (regardless of the political party in power). It introduced an extremely generous solar incentive scheme whereby households could install a grid connected solar system and be paid at least 60c for every kWh produced. This was a gross payment scheme. There was a size limit of 10 kW for solar systems to take part in the scheme. (NSW had the most generous scheme in Australia on a c/kWh basis, given it was a gross payment scheme. However, in the ACT, some people have installed the maximum 30kW system and earning 45c/kWh or more. Victoria pays 60c/kWh but on a net feed-in basis and only for systems up to 5kW in size.)

Needless to say any idiot could work out that this returned better than shares, term deposits and property, so the scheme was very popular.

Like a pendulum out of control, the NSW Government has now swung back the other way and decided to kill off the NSW home solar industry by limiting the amount paid to solar generators to 20c/kWh. This is considerably less than people have to pay per kWh (some people are reportedly paying more than 40c/kWh in NSW during some daylight hours). So anyone considering solar in NSW will now find they'll be effectively paying the power companies for every offsetting kWh generated from their solar system.

As I said, it's common knowledge that requirements for election or appointment to the NSW government include gross incompetence, corruptibility, idiocy and the ability to flip flop. This action demonstrates all of these traits.