Greens urge State Government not to penalise investors

THE Queensland Greens have urged the State Government not to "penalise" those who have invested in the solar electricity generation ahead of its Solar Bonus Scheme review, due to report to parliament Monday.

Up until now, the scheme has covered feed-in tariff paid to customers who generate solar electricity and feed their surpluses into the grid.

Last year the solar feed-in tariff was decreased to 8c from 44c per kWh in 2012 and it will not be available at all after July next year.

Queensland Greens spokesperson, Dr Charles Worringham said yesterday the switch to solar was the "responsible alternative" the LNP should be encouraging.

"The government should ensure solar energy is a key element of its 30-year electricity strategy," he said.

"But all the Premier and his Energy Minister have done is demonise those who are trying to do the right thing by their own household budgets and the environment."

The Queensland Competition Authority has also flagged the possibility that PV solar providers who receive 44c, having signed up before July 9, 2012, will be charged an extra network charge.

Dr Worringham said the solar charge added only 3.9% to an average household electricity bill in 2013-14.

"Electricity from solar is putting downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices, reducing coal-fired generation and helping to make hundreds of millions of dollars of planned expenditure on transmission lines unnecessary," he said.

"The electricity generator Energy Australia has questioned whether a network charge on solar customers could be achieved equitably."

The Queensland Greens are running a month-long campaign to highlight the benefits of solar energy and will hold a state-wide day of action on Saturday, July 13.

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