February 14, 2008 (SA Parliament Release) – The SA Government’s solar panel ‘feed-in’ Bill has passed both Houses of Parliament tonight, with crucial Greens’ amendments. The Electricity (Feed-in Scheme – Residential Solar Systems) Amendment bill encourages the uptake of solar electricity by allowing residents to sell their solar electricity at a higher rate than they are charged.
“We’re absolutely delighted this Bill has passed, and we’re delighted the Government has accepted our amendments. This is going to make a real positive difference to the uptake of solar panels in South Australia,” Mark Parnell said.
The Bill debate turned into a showdown over the length of the scheme. The Government proposed only 5 years. The Upper House continued to support the Greens’ amendment to extend the life of the scheme to 20 years, in line with industry wishes.
“This is a great result. The Government’s Bill now has some real teeth. The 20 year time frame will provide the guaranteed long term security that the solar industry is after,” he said.
The other amendment which passed has extended the scheme to other small electricity users, such as churches, schools and businesses.
“Credit where credit is due: the Greens’ amendment originally passed by the Upper House extended the scheme to small business. The Government has gone once step further, which we fully support.
“It’s great that the Government has accepted the wisdom of our amendments, and we look forward to this Bill helping to drive a ‘green collar industry’ in South Australia,” he said.