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What now for the SolarBonusScheme?

The NSW SolarBonusScheme is reported as being CLOSED for applications.

UPDATE 2.22pm 29 April -  THE SCHEME IS DEAD.

According to the Age, Minister for Energy Chris Hartcher announced this afternoon that:

“The NSW government has suspended the Solar Bonus Scheme due to cost blowouts” and  “No new applications will be considered while the future viability of the program is considered next week, Energy Minister Chris Hartcher.”

Everyone in NSW wants to know what’s happening with the SolarBonusScheme; or more importantly what might happen once we pass the 300MW cap. Based on our predictions, we are 30 days or so away from this critical point.

Mr O’Farrell’s Government inherited a tough gig with a fantastically successful programme that unfortunately ran away with unanticipated demand and cost.

Today, we may have seen a sign of the new Government’s intentions with this quote in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

The NSW Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, said medium-scale projects like trigeneration plants were more efficient than rooftop solar panels. ”We are not going to allow programmes like the present Solar Bonus Scheme … to continue,” Mr Hartcher said. ”But we are going to encourage a sensible attitude towards … energy efficiency in the community. That’s why we look very much to business to set the example.”

We will have to wait and see what this exactly means, but clearly its a signal that Mr Hartcher doesn’t intend to continue the scheme at this stage.

I do wonder how the Government will handle the 25,000 or so consumers who have applied but may miss out….this will be the true test of their sentiment.

Nigel Morris is the director/principal consultant of Solar Business Services.

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