Something like this should be done in the United States. But it will not. Big oil has too much money and can buy too many votes. They block legislation like this in the U.S. The U.S. who invested solar panels and started the solar power industry continues to fall further and further behind the rest of the world.
But I digress. This article is about new legislation in Australia that gives a big boost to the home solar industry there.
The Senate in Australia passed the Renewable Energy Target (RET) bill which gives $7,000 to anyone who installs at least a 9 panel (1.5kW) solar energy system.
Originally, there were two components to this bill: the RET and the ETS (Emissions Trading). There was lots of fighting over the ETS component and so law makers split the RET and the ETS components into two separate bills so that they could pass the RET portion while they continue to fight over the ETS.
The home solar discount of $7,000 is for grid connected homes and buildings only. The home can be a rental home, a principal place of residence, a vacation home or a commercial building. The rebate threshold in earlier bills of a household taxable income of $100,000 has been removed.
Specifically, the home solar discount works by giving a value of 500 percent the market value of RECs or what are called Renewable Energy Certificates.
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) began in Australia in late 2001. RECs purpose is to put a value on the displacement of greenhouse gases. One REC is equal to one mega Watt hour of electricity produced. RECs give financial incentives to engage in less burning of fossil fuel.
Depending on your latitude and how many sunshine hours you receive, there are usually 31 RECs attached to a 1.5kW solar energy installation. The value of a REC is subject to market variation, and they are currently trading at approx $35. This equates to $1,085 value in RECs for a 1kW installation. Under Solar Credits, this figure is multiplied by five, to give a total discount of $5,425.
Home solar credits will apply to the first 1.5 kW of capacity installed. For systems above 1.5kW, customers will be eligible for the standard 1:1 rate of RECs. Home solar credits/RECs are issued by the Office of Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) for the lifetime generation of the system, and customers can elect to either assign them to the installer to keep the upfront cost of the solar energy installation down, or hold on to them just as you would a share portfolio.
Now why can not something like this be done in the United States of America were solar panels were first invented. I guess in America it is all about money and the big oil and energy companies do not want you producing your own energy, even if it is better for the environment. They would rather destroy all life on the planet rather than lose you as a paying energy customer.
Originally posted 2009-08-23 06:25:58.