Government subsidies for solar power are set to soar – costing taxpayers almost $2 billion annually and adding nearly $200 to the power bills of all consumers.

Government subsidies for solar power are set to soar – costing taxpayers almost $2 billion annually and adding to the power bills of all consumers.

The Australian reports:

“Households will pay nearly $2 billion for rooftop solar installation subsidies this year, costing every home nearly $200 and threatening to derail Scott Morrison’s pledge to cut power bills.

The cost of the federal Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) and state-based rebates combined is forecast to rise by 45 per cent from $1.2bn last year to $1.74bn this year…

Analysis by renewables trader Demand Manager reveals the annual impost for every household for the subsidy is forecast to soar from $134 last year to $195 this year. The cost of the subsidy is added to all electricity bills.”

National Director of Advance Australia Gerard Benedet said that solar subsidies were distorting the energy market and hitting low income consumers the hardest.

“It’s not surprising that people are looking for ways to reduce their energy bills – and solar is an attractive option for those who can afford to install it.  The problem is the subsidies add to the bills of people who really can’t afford it,” Mr Benedet said.

“A cost increase of 45% in just one year is significant and , if unchecked, this program will continue to distort the market and hurt the most vulnerable.”

Mr Benedet said that small scale solar power installations represented about 20% of the renewable energy sector, and around 3% of overall electricity generation.  (Source: Clean Energy Australia Report 2018)

“This subsidy for rooftop solar is really just the tip of the taxpayer iceberg when it comes to renewable energy. The Clean Energy Council of Australia reported that more than $11 billion worth of large scale renewable energy projects were being built last year.”

“Many of these are being funded, backed or subsidised by State and Federal governments. The problem is that the market is being so distorted and at the same time reliable energy sources like coal are being demonised by left-wing activists,” Mr Benedet said.

“What we are left with is a system that is more expensive and less reliable, as we saw earlier this year in SA and Victoria.  It’s time to bring some balance back.  The true cost of renewables must be transparent and the priority of all governments should be ensuring reliable, affordable energy.”

 

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