WA starts solar feed-in tariff



solar panels

Credit: Courtesy of Solar Shop Australia

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The WA Government has implemented a solar feed-in tariffs scheme which is the most generous in Australia.

The 'gross" feed-in tariff scheme will pay households up to 60 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh) for all the power they generate from their domestic solar systems and not just the excess power they return to the grid.

The scheme will accelerate the pay-back period for solar energy systems and generate a jump in demand from consumers who may have been unsure about the cost benefits of sun-generated power, said Andrew Cross, national service manager for electrical engineering company O'Donnell Griffin.

Feed-in systems offer strong incentives for consumers to consider installing solar panels to generate their own electricity.

"We expect a big surge in business out of WA with the new tariffs combined with the recent Federal Budget's $254 million commitment for domestic solar rooftop systems under the current rebate system," he said.

Cross said he expected the WA tariffs would put pressure on other states to follow its example and that solar power demand would jump dramatically as a result.

Up until March 2009, according to Federal Government statistics, 25,195 domestic solar rooftop systems had been installed nationally. This includes:

  • 6,213 in NSW
  • 5,331 in Victoria
  • 4,397 in Queensland
  • 5,921 in South Australia
  • 2,406 in Western Australia
  • 419 in Tasmania
  • 36 in the Northern Territory
  • 472 in the ACT

Cross said these figures will surge as last-minute consumers eligible for the before June 30 $8,000 Federal Government rebate make their applications.

"We welcome the WA government's progress towards a GFiT that will see householders rewarded for all the energy produced by their solar panels," said Matthew Warren, chief executive of the Clean Energy Council.

"We look forward to working with the government on the development of this important policy and urge them to publish the final details of the scheme as soon as is possible," he said.

Warren said this is a crucial time in policy development for Australia's clean energy industry with the Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation set to pass through parliament in the coming weeks.

"It's important that the industry continues to remain focussed on ensuring governments deliver on driving accelerated development of this fast emerging industry as quickly as possible," he said.

According to, all states but Victoria and New South Wales have some form of solar feed-in tariff.