Solar plan lacking detail

Representatives from the Northern Rivers solar industry have given Lismore MP Thomas George their vote of confidence.

The good-will came after he met with industry representatives this month to hear how the axing of the State Government’s feed-in tariff had affected the solar industry.

However, whether Mr George will also win their vote at the March state election remains to be seen, according to Rainbow Power Company director Paul O’Reilly.

“They (the Coalition) have said they will introduce a tariff, but there is no detail,” Mr O’Reilly said.

“We will support any party which creates policies that support and stabilise the solar industry.”

In January, the NSW Government capped its solar feed-in tariff at 300 megawatts of connected capacity, which effectively ended the scheme.

This month, Mr George held meetings with Rainbow Power and Nickel Energy. At the meeting, Mr O’Reilly said he had been impressed by Mr George’s understanding of the issues the industry faced.

Mr George also arranged for a brief meeting between solar industry representatives and the Shadow Minister Duncan Gay, which took place last Monday in Casino.

Nickel Energy chief executive Nick Lake said the meeting with Mr Gay had been positive, although the Coalition had not made a firm commitment.

“We got our message across,” Mr Lake said.

The solar industry has asked the Coalition to introduce “a parity net tariff” if they are in government after the election.

The tariff would see solar households which are connected to the grid paid for their excess energy the same amount energy providers charge for electricity.

Mr George also promised a meeting with Shadow Minister for the Environment, Catherine Cusack, Mr Lake said.

Original Article

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