Is the introduction of a new tariff the best we can do?

27 May 2021 – An article published in the Australian Financial Review this week raises questions over the AEMC’s proposal to allow distributors to charge solar-owners for surplus solar power exports at peak times. 

The AFR article quotes EcoJoule Energy’s Tony Ferguson as saying, “My concern with solar tariffs is that you are dissuading people from transmitting effectively free … zero-carbon electricity to the grid”.

As more and more Australian consumers embrace rooftop solar solutions, stability of the grid is certainly an issue that needs to be considered. EcoJoule Energy CEO, Mike Wishart says, “there are better, cost effective technical solutions, including ours,  that don’t discourage consumers from exporting zero carbon, zero marginal cost energy to the grid”.

While the AEMC spokesperson believes that unnecessary infrastructure investment can be avoided by giving distributors the ability to charge solar investors, he identifies that technological infrastructure will have a critical role in the future.  EcoJoule Energy strongly believes that technology, not taxes, can be used to transition our electricity supply system into a lower cost, more reliable and more environmentally friendly system.

In the meantime, submissions to the AEMC can be made until May 27 with a final decision due to be made in July.