Solar Energy Programs at its Finest!
It’s high time for renewable energy in Australia with the support of Labor Government. To ensure more wind and solar built, they pledge $10 billion to Clean Energy Finance Corporation, $5 billion for new “energy modernization fund”, and series of reverse auctions. $200 million will be spent on household batteries, and another $100 million on “neighborhood renewables” that would help renters and low-income families access the benefits of solar power. We have gathered the existing and proposed solar energy programs just for you.
The federal Labor party made headlines last week with its announcement of initiatives supporting battery storage & renewable energy. Delivering cheaper and cleaner energy for the future, the proposal promises a focus on household battery storage which will offer $2,000 from the cost of batteries to 100,000 households from 2020, the start of a plan aiming for a new national target of one million household battery installations by 2025.
As per Labor battery plan:
The rebate is limited to one battery system per home and will not be available to households that have received subsidies from state schemes. The program will be reviewed after two years, given projected falls in battery costs and to assess progress towards Labor’s target of one million new battery installations by 2025.
Projects eligible for funding in communities across Australia could include:
- ‘Solar gardens’ and energy storage solutions for renters.
- Low-income energy efficiency (including retrofits of existing social housing stock).
- Solar programs using innovative finance like council rates programs.
- Community wind farms.
- Pilot community solar and storage projects with social housing providers.
- Rates financing for low-income pensioners.
Additionally, the federal Labor program will be targeted at households with incomes of less than $180,000. A rebate of $500/kWh will be offered, up to a maximum of 4kWh.
Aside from the huge initiative from federal government, each Australian state has existing and proposed renewable energy plan which help households to build their own solar PV system.
A roundup of existing & proposed battery incentive programs in Australia.
Australian Capital Territory
ACT has led the way in supporting communities with the help of Next Generation Energy Storage program. The purpose of the program is for 5,000 ACT households to have batteries installed under the scheme by 2020.
On other hand, the state is also running a 250-home VPP pilot program which involves a subset of homes that have installed batteries under the Next Generation program, and is home to a lithium battery performance testing site.
New South Wales
NSW has wide coverage of renewable energy initiatives particularly:
- Smart energy for homes and businesses– a $50 million program to “bring together smart energy technologies in NSW homes and businesses to form a ‘distributed’ power plant with a demand response capability of up to 200MW, to help manage peak demand on the grid”.
- Smart batteries for key government buildings– a $20 million commitment to back the installation of batteries for government buildings with the aim of reducing electricity costs & bolstering supply resilience
South Australians were the first beneficiary of state-wide battery incentive under the Liberal government. The program will provide $100 million in funds to support the installation of up to 40,000 home battery systems. The Home Battery Scheme is separate from the ambitious SA Virtual Power Plant project. This could include battery systems for up to 50,000 households on a mix of public housing and privately owned properties.
The Victorian programs that directly support residential batteries (and solar) include:
- A $40 million program providing battery incentives up to $4,838 for up to 10,000 homes who already have solar in ‘growth areas’ where there are already large amounts solar connected to the grid;
- The battery incentive is one component of the larger $1.34 billion Solar Homes rebate.
Queensland’s labor government has three-related program which provides interest-free loans, grants or both to homes & small businesses interested in solar and/or battery storage.
The three segments of the solar & battery affordability scheme are:
- Solar systems loans– Interest-free loans up to $4,500 for homes to purchase a solar system (to be repaid within 7 years)
- Loans and grants for battery systems– Grants of $3,000 (home or business) and interest-free loans up to $6,000 (homes only) repayable over 10 years
- Loans and grants for combined solar and battery systems– Grants up to $3,000 (home or business) or interest-free loans up to $10,000 (homes only – repayable over 10 years) to install combined solar & battery systems; around 1,000 assistance packages will be available
Solar energy programs both state and federal create an immense job in making Australia the solar country it has become. Now, Australia has minimal PV systems costs and has one of the most astounding solar penetration rates on the planet. These are two of the fundamental reasons that Australia has turned into a globally perceived hotbed for solar components.
We may not be here without these solar programs. Yet, it absolutely would not have occurred as fast as it has done. Together with state-initiated feed-in tariffs and federal solar, it can couple the possibility of solar power projects.
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Parkinson, G. (2018, November 22). Labor pledges $15 billion in new renewable, network funds. Retrieved from https://reneweconomy.com.au/labor-pledges-15-billion-in-new-renewable-network-funds-47493/
Martin, J. (2018, November 30). Battery incentive programs around Australia (existing & proposed). Retrieved from https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/battery-incentive-programs-around-australia-existing-proposed/