The last few weeks have seen a jump in the number of Adelaide residents enquiring about solar panels installation as a result of concerns that the price for solar installation could rise substantially should the Renewable Energy Target be scrapped. The renewable energy target review, released recently, specifically raises the spectre of a ‘strong case for winding back the Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES)’. Translated, this means that prices for residential solar systems could rise should the recommendations be taken up. South Australia has led Australia in terms of the percentage of homes with solar systems installed demonstrating the huge community acceptance for solar. This has resulted in a genuine ‘shift’ in the profile of electricity generation in Australia, with the traditional ‘carbon based’ electricity producers that rely on the burning of coal and gas, seeing a genuine threat to their established business models, by the emergence of solar power.
Would There Be Less Certainty In Electricity Pricing Without The SRES?
Once installed, a solar system gives the owner a degree of certainty as to their electricity bills. By offsetting a proportion of the electricity that would otherwise be drawn from the grid with their own self generated solar electricity, households are less impacted by price increases in energy. Future price modelling for gas, as an example, show that global demand is outstripping production and gas prices are more likely to rise than fall in the coming decade, meaning upward price pressure for electricity generated from gas fired power plants. By the government continuing to ‘support’ coal and gas electricity production this gives less certainty for power prices into the future.