NSW Election Result: Should Solar Industry Claim Victory?
The NSW election concluded on the 23rd of March 2019. The result is in and Gladys Berejiklian claims victory with its 47th seat and a majority in the NSW Lower House. Starting with the current government, the liberal party has not been heard of actual targets for renewable energy or emissions reduction. The more cautious Coalition government has also refused to be vocal on any plans or policies for large-scale wind or solar and was careful not to say too much about coal. Nevertheless, if the government will be true to its promise and delivers its pre-election policies, we can expect something during their term.
Earlier on, we published an article which tackled the plan of the coalition government that please the majority in the solar industry. In this article we highlighted that, the importance of solar and battery storage by introducing a 10-year solar policy called Empowering Homes program that is planned to reach 300,000 households in NSW. With the proposed policy, no-interest loans of up to $9,000 will be given to qualified homeowners to avail battery system and up to $14,000 support to purchase solar with battery storage. Apparently, this only applies to homeowners that earn an annual household income of up to $180,000.
To summarise, here are other possible plans of the Coalition government that will benefit the solar industry:
- No interest loans for solar and battery storage for 300,000 homes. This includes loans over 10 years of up to $9,000 for a battery system and up to $14,000 for a solar-battery system.
- Making it easier for strata committees to approve solar panels and batteries for apartment blocks by lowering the voting threshold from 75% to 50%;
- An extra $20 million to the Emerging Energy Program, encouraging private-sector investment in large-scale electricity and storage projects;
- $10 million for a new recycling fund for solar panels and battery systems.
If all these plans come into reality, we can expect that the number of households in NSW that currently have a solar PV system will be doubled in the years to come. Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton has agreed that the zero-interest loans of up to A$14,000 for solar and storage systems proposed by the government will help the NSW community to have an opportunity to install solar PV system since one of the biggest hindrances for households is the up-front cost.
For now, what we can do is to wait for the Berejiklian government to take action of these proposed schemes. Only then, we can say that the solar industry could celebrate with their victory.
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Kenning, T. (2019, February 11). Solar and storage becomes key focus in New South Wales election battle. Retrieved from https://www.pv-tech.org/news/solar-and-storage-becomes-key-focus-in-new-south-wales-election-battle
Leitch, D. (2019, March 19). Will the NSW election deliver a change in electricity policy?. Retrieved from https://reneweconomy.com.au/will-the-nsw-election-deliver-a-change-in-electricity-policy-48376/
Vorrath, S. (2019, February 11). Rooftop solar, batteries early winners in NSW election race. Retrieved from https://reneweconomy.com.au/rooftop-solar-batteries-early-winners-in-nsw-election-race-57454/