Australia: another state axes FIT program


Residential photovoltaic FIT schemes have proven popular in Australia and, in part, because of this success state and territory governments have been suspending, winding back or closing their schemes. The most recent to do is the resource rich state of Western Australia, where the government announced today that all new applications will not be processed.

In recent weeks, the Australian Capital Territory also closed its FIT scheme and New South Wales have reduced its program and raised a series of safety concerns over residential photovoltaic installations. A subsequent safety inspection campaign in Sydney revealed some faulty installations but found a very small risk of them causing house fires.

The West Australian FIT scheme

The scheme was launched in 2009 and more than 65,000 residential installations have been installed. This demand has seen the government increase the program’s budget from AUD$23 million (US$25.4 million), to $127 million (US$140.4) in May of this year. At the same time, the government reduced the FIT rate from 40 cents per kilowatt hour (pKh) to 20 cents. Previously the rate had been 20 cents.

Combined the residential installations already installed under the scheme are worth 150 megawatts (MW).

The Labor Opposition party has slammed the changes, "West Australians who want to act on climate change have been doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint and many are looking to save on their bills by investing in renewable energy generation,” said spokesman Kate Doust.

The government claims that falling photovoltaic system prices means that West Australians can still install systems cost effectively. "Wholesale prices of renewable energy systems have halved in the past 12 months which has resulted in greater affordability and means customers will be able to recover the purchase cost of their systems much quicker," said Energy Minister Peter Collier.

By contrast the Australian Federal Government is aggressively pursuing large scale photovoltaic and concentrated solar power (CSP) installations through its $750 million Solar Flagships scheme.

Popular content

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact:


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.