Victorian govt targets rooftop solar discrimination as part of renewables plan | RenewEconomy

Victorian govt targets rooftop solar discrimination as part of renewables plan

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Victorian energy minister says govt will act to remove extra charges and other barriers to rooftop solar uptake, as part of renewables support policy.

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Victorian energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio has flagged the introduction of measures to stop electricity retailers in the state from discriminating against rooftop solar customers, as part of a “clear message” that the Andrews government was aD'AmbrosioLily58250 friend to renewable energy.

Speaking at the Australian Solar and Energy Storage conference in Melbourne on Wednesday, D’Ambrosio said the government was in the process of developing a “robust, significant set of strategies” to support the state’s renewable energy industry and boost its share of renewables capacity.

While she would not go into specifics, D’Ambrosio said she had a vision of a forward-looking energy sector, underpinned by renewables and key supporting technologies – particularly battery storage – that would combine with energy efficiency and reduce the cost of electricity to all customers.

A big part of this, she said, would be encouraging the privatised retail and distribution players in the state energy market to embrace distributed generation and recognise that this shift did not have to undermine their business.

D’Ambrosio said that she had heard “story after story” from solar consumers throughout the state about the variety of barriers the distribution businesses had put up to discourage self-generation.

“Renewable energy is an unstoppable train – it’s not going away,” D’Ambrosio told the conference. “That’s something that all (energy industry) stakeholders should be encouraged to consider.”

As part of this “encouragement”, D’Ambrosio said the government would commission a review into the value of distributed generation in the state.

The minister pointed to New Zealand gentailer, Vector Energy, as an example of an established player choosing to embrace the shift to distributed energy, providing renewable energy services to its customers, and reaping the benefits.

More broadly, D’Ambrosio said her department was in the process of developing a roadmap for renewable energy, which would invite consultation and contributions from stakeholders on the best policy measures to help grow the state’s share of renewables.

This would form the basis of an “Action Plan” that Andrews the government would release later in the year.

The energy minister also said the government would also be developing a separate industry plan, to support the development of renewables and key supporting technologies, such as battery storage.

D’Ambrosio stressed, in particular, that the Victorian Labor government understood the importance of storage in the future energy equation, which would “transform the way all of us interact with energy.”

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  1. Paul Turnbull 5 years ago

    The direction and sentiment in Victoria’s approach is spot on. Making it happen is the next step. Another 6 months for an action plan? Nothing ready to implement after 4 years in opposition? I’m encouraged and disappointed.

    • Mike Dill 5 years ago

      I think they are waiting to see how much the coal producers are going to pay for this to be watered down. Wake me in six months if this happens, as my expectations are extremely pessimistic.

  2. Justin Mahon 5 years ago

    Paul and Mike. The ALP is the party of the RET, the party of the Carbon Tax, the party of two failed Semate ETS bills (cheers Bob and Christine) the party of the FIT schemes, the party of the Clean Energy Innovation Fund and Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the party of the various green tech subsidy schemes, the party of the the various Climate Change authorities and so on and so on. This approach from The ALP in Victoria is not just good policy – it’s good politics. I know this disappoints Greens – deeply. But ultimately it WILL be the ALP that gets the green economy into shape and transfprming energy use and its contribution to climate change.

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