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Australian Government Pulls Out the Rug on Solar Program

The Australian federal government defiantly made clarified before the 2014 budget release yesterday that, “All Australians must help us to do the heavy lifting,” and, “the age of entitlement is over”. Indeed when checking what the budget has for renewable energy and the solar industry it doesn’t look good.
As reported on the Solar Sunwerx website – a leading solar panels Melbourne installation company:
‘The Federal budget, as it exists, has no provision for the promised “One Million Solar Roofs” program. Earlier this year, doubts were raised over the future of the program when it was announced that funding would come from ARENA’s budget allocation, which had already been slashed.
The exact course of events were:
• Prior to the election – the Coalition party promised assistance of $1,000 for one hundred thousand low income households over 10 years to install solar panels and solar hot water systems
• Two days before the election – the Coalition announced the $1,000 rebate would be reduced to $500. This figure was reiterated in October in a policy statement titled “A Plan for a Cleaner Environment”
• Budget 2014 – The government unbelievably axed the program
Replacing the $1 billion dollar commitment is a $2.1 million fund for community solar projects (RSLs and Bowls Clubs, etc.) in marginal electorates such as solar power Geelong investors and solar power in Darwin community buildings.
Currently the renewable energy target is under review with fears that subsidies for rooftop solar could be scrapped or reduced, however in light of the negative pushback from the One Million Solar Roofs axing it would make political sense for the government to retain it in some form.
$2.55 billion has been allocated “over 10 years” to the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund which is intended to replace the previous government’s carbon tax.
The exact figures, however are not clear. First it was claimed that “over 10 years” was a printing error. Again Tristan Edis has the figures, showing that the government’s pre-election commitment of $2.55 was promised over the first four years, leaving the newly committed funds until financial year 2017/18 short by more than $1.4 billion.’

It will be very interesting how this continues to play out over the government’s term in office (which I’m guessing may be quite short).