By Lilia Guan
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said the state government will not proceed with planned changes to the Solar Bonus Scheme.
Mr O’Farrell said it became clear crossbenchers in the Upper House would not support the planned changes.
"I wanted to do everything possible to reduce the cost to taxpayers of the Solar Bonus Scheme and keep a lid on electricity prices,” he said.
“However, I am a realist and there is no point putting up legislation to the Upper House which is going to be rejected.”
Mr O'Farrell said a new report by KPMG showed the cost of the scheme will be around $1.44 billion – compared with the original estimates of around $1.9 billion in Labor's Duffy Parry report.
Australian Solar Energy Society’s (AUSES) chief executive officer, John Grimes said it led a ‘vigorous’ campaign against the retrospective changes to the solar bonus scheme and in support of a fair price for solar going forward.
“Beyond NSW this is a big win for solar in Australia,” he said.
“There is now an urgent need for a coordinated approach to feed in tariffs nationally and we will be prosecuting this case.”
However to make a strong solar future a reality in NSW it’s important the NSW government puts in place a fair price for solar going forward,” Mr Grimes said.
“The solar industry in NSW remains in crisis, with many solar companies already letting staff go and slashing costs,” he said.
“The government must urgently act to put an end to this uncertainty, or 8000 solar jobs will be lost, and companies closed.”
The Clean Energy Council has also welcomed a decision by the NSW Government to honour the level of support for 120000 households that have
installed solar power systems.
Clean Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren said the O’Farrell Government was to be congratulated for its demonstrated commitment to the solar industry in NSW.
“The retention of the 60 cent gross feed-in tariff is great news for those households which have made the commitment to generating clean solar energy from their homes,” he said.
"Solar panels will be the Hills Hoist of the 21st century and it’s important to ensure we have a safe and efficient industry to deliver this as the cost of the technology continues to fall and the cost of electricity continues to increase.”
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