Monday, 18 October 2010

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world... solar scheme in trouble

A state government solar scheme in New South Wales, Australia, which started in January has already had to shut down due to over-subscription reports The Age news service.

The uptake was so great that it's put real "upward pressure" on electricity prices.

Their scheme allowed homeowners to pay off their solar investment costs by selling energy back to the power grid, then buying back what they needed at a discounted rate. The distributors offset these costs through levy's on other customers.

However, it seems that despite the 'shutdown', further applications have still been allowed. Under the scheme's conditions, any applications approved must be honoured.

At a time when many analysts are warning that green energy won't make it any cheaper for consumers (not in the short term anyway), as much due to the work required to upgrade and install new distribution networks as the costs involved in setting up larger scale renewable energy plants, it will be interesting to see if over-subscription becomes a problem in the UK.

photo credit: alan cleaver

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