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The Warburton Panel, Renewable Energy Targets and how they could effect you

"I’d put my money on the Sun and Solar Energy, what a source of Power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out, before we tackle that." -Thomas Edison

Last week signaled the possible stripping back, or even worse, slashing all together of the Renewable Energy Target. The Abbott Government was given its review by a Panel led by renowned climate change skeptic Richard Warburton (former chairman of Caltex). In this review the recommendation for "winding back the small-scale renewable energy scheme" was given as last year Australia generated above predicted amounts of electricity via roof top solar. Experts have said that these changes to the RET could increase the cost of solar systems by as much as 50%. This increase could be even greater if the Prime Minster, who is reported to favour cutting the scheme all together, moves forward with his plans.

These changes (including scrapping the scheme altogether) have not been given the Governments seal of approval as of yet, however the Clean Energy Council's policy manager, Darren Gladman, told the Sydney Morning Herald that potential solar customers should not delay, adding that the window to apply for current rates is likely to be "very narrow if previous policy changes are any guide". There is a strong grass roots (or solar roof top) movement to have the RET left unchanged and more information can be found through Clean Energy Council or Solar Citizens.

With industry confidence falling, investment in the sector has hit its lowest level in ten years. Figures of up 10000 jobs (from a industry of 18000) are being reported to be at risk and over $10 billion from industry (from these RET changes/cuts). The future is uncertain in the short term, however solar will be the key performer in years to come. Lets hope they don't work out how to tax the sun!

If you'd like to talk about a solar installation on your property, what rebates you qualify for, feed-in tariffs and what upfront costs there are, please get in touch with our office. The Government will be honoring all applications made before any potential cut off dates (leaving you with up to 12 months to complete the installation if you wish).

Reference (PV Magazine - Ian Clover)

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