The solar industry is not often on the streets holding placards. For the past few years, they have been two busy. When they have, in NSW for instance, it was over the sudden and arbitrary removal of a solar support scheme. Now, however, they are back on the streets in Melbourne, this time because of a newly introduced support scheme.
What’s going on?
Last week, Solar Insiders invited Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan to discuss the issue, and allowed him to defend the structure of the Victoria solar rebate, a $1.3 billion proposal to ensure that another 650,000 homes have rooftop solar.
There are some great things about this scheme – the long term vision, the determination to make solar more affordable to more people, the focus on rental and apartment dwellers, low income housing and battery storage.
But there’s a lot that has gone wrong too. As we saw in the public demonstration last week, many solar businesses have run out of work, sidelined by the complexity of the scheme, and the fact that it is actually putting a constraint on supply, and many have been left without any business.
In this week’s episode, we hear from Smart Energy Council CEO John Grimes, and Nigel Morris reports back from the protest and his discussions with many people involved, and from both sides of the policy fence. You can also read Nigel’s blog here.
Is there a solution? There must be. We suggest increasing the quota to match recent deployment levels, before gradually winding down the numbers, and the eligibility barrier (income limit) as well. This way, the market does not artificially shrink, there is still a contestable market, and ultimately the scheme focuses on those who need it most.
Surely, there is room for compromise here.
You can find previous episodes of the Solar Insiders podcast here or on your favourite podcast platform.