2 August 2011 – The Sustainable Energy Association has condemned the termination of a solar feed in tariff in WA as untimely and short-sighted.

SEA chief executive, Professor Ray Wills said the plan announced this week by WA Energy Minister, Peter Collier was likely to have short-term negative impacts on solar photovoltaics wholesale, retail and installation businesses as well as those businesses supplying goods and services to them.

The end of a feed in tariff meant the price being offered for electricity exported from domestic solar generation falls to $0.07.

This was not a fair price for the consumer considering a 2007 report by the APVA to the Office of Energy which gave a fair price at between $0.13 and $0.16 per kilowatts for exported energy, he said.

Professor Wills said the WA government had failed to consult with the industry on the ensuing changes making it very difficult for any business to plan effectively.

“The renewable energy industry continues to be plagued by government decisions that lead to boom/ bust cycles and fail to provide the conditions needed to grow the industry sustainably,” he said.

While the SEA expected solar PV was likely to hit retail grid parity potentially by 2014/2015, this interim period without some form of price support could significantly erode the value and capability of the industry.

“The industry does not seek subsidies, just a fair price to be paid for consumers’ exported electricity,” he said.