Malcolm Turnbull has shocked Australia with his ultimatum to the senate, and in all likelihood, Australia will now be heading to the polls in July. This may have dire consequences for the solar power industry, as up until now the senate has been blocking the attempted destruction of Australia’s renewable energy industry through the scaling back of the nation’s Renewable Energy Target (RET). Residential solar rebates are a part of the RET, and it is expected that if the RET is reduced any further it would inevitably lead to smaller solar power incentives. There is even the chance that solar power rebates would be completely eliminated.
Renewable Energy was a major issue at the last election and we expect things to really heat up over the coming months. After enjoying a brief period of calm since the change in Prime Minister, we may see the solar power industry back in the news for all the wrong reasons, because we know Turnbull is under pressure from elements within his party to make changes to Australia’s renewable energy policy, in particular from the far-right.
Today Turnbull said on the ABC that: “We are committed to the cuts in emissions that we, as other countries did, committed to at Paris, and we will deliver them… There are obviously a whole lot of measures. There’s a renewable energy target. There is… an emissions reduction fund, and so forth. But, you know, at the end of the day, they are just means to an end.”
We are not reading too much into these words at this stage, but there is the chance that the commitment to not touch the RET may not survive the next term of government because it is viewed as a ‘means to an end.’
Despite this uncertainty, the message for potential solar buyers is simple: install solar power before July to protect yourself from any possible changes to the rebate. Solar power incentives are claimed in full upon the installation of your solar system and the rebate comes off the purchase price.
The current rebates available on an eligible residential solar system are:
If Australia’s solar power incentives are removed, solar systems may never be this cheap again, at least not for many years if not decades. If you have been holding off on installing solar power, for example, because you have been considering batteries, this strategy may now need to change. The risks of missing out on a rebate have just increased.
We will be following all of this very closely and we will keep you posted with the latest developments.