Australian region kicks off the year with solar power feed-in tariff scheme

by Antonio Pasolini on January 6, 2010

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Imagine harnessing sun power and earning some extra cash every year?

According to a report on CleanTechnica, the government of the New South Wales region in Australia has introduced a Solar Bonus Scheme “that could have residents earning as much as $10,000 a year to send clean electricity to the grid from solar panels on their own roofs.”

The legislation for the program, a gross feed in tariff, was passed by Parliament in late November 2009 and adds to the rebates available under the Solar Credits program. The Scheme kicked off on January 1st.

The New South Wales Solar Bonus scheme has an overall cap of 50 megawatts capacity, or 50 megawatts worth of solar panels. If the quota is filled before the official review in 2012, the review date will be brought forward to that point.

A feed-in tariff is a policy mechanism designed to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources as utilities have to buy renewable electricity from all eligible participants. In other words, homeowners and businesses get paid to produce and provide renewable energy. A 2008 European Commission analysis report found that feed-in tariff schemes are, when well adapted, “the most efficient and effective support schemes for promoting renewable electricity.”

Feed-in tariff schemes, solar or other types of renewable energy, have been instituted in tens of jurisdictions across the world. In the case of solar power specifically, Germany and Spain have set up very popular schemes, which have driven down the price of solar prices worldwide. Back in March, Gainesville in Florida became the first American city to adopt a similar scheme, inspired by the German case of solar expansion led by a feed in tariff policy.

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