Feed-in Tariff is a Travesty

Definition: Travesty (trăvĭ-stē)

n., pl -ties.

  1. An exaggerated or grotesque imitation, such as a parody of a literary work.
  2. A debased or grotesque likeness: a travesty of justice.

Now that we all know the correct dictionary definition, I will continue.

If you read the post yesterday about my elation about the recently announced Victorian feed-in tariffs, I did not have all the facts. Today, as more details have come to light, I got angrier and angrier. To cap it all off the Energy & Resources Minister sent me an email, gloating about this achievement;

Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 5:40 PM
Subject: Solar Feed-in Tariff

Thank you for your correspondence regarding the design of a solar feed-in tariff for implementation in Victoria.

The Brumby Government is committed to maintaining a secure, efficient, affordable and sustainable supply of energy. We have developed a comprehensive climate change policy package, which supports renewable energy, energy efficiency, low emissions technologies and a national emissions trading scheme.

To make Victoria’s power generation cleaner, the Brumby Government has already committed over $180 million to facilitate research, development, demonstration and commercialisation of new energy and greenhouse technologies. The Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS) has seen several large pre-commercial demonstration projects funded, including a large scale photovoltaic power plant in northern Victoria.

Support for renewable energy is central to the Brumby Government’s climate change policy. In the 2008/09 budget the Brumby Government committed a further $182 million to ETIS, including $72 million to breathe new life into large-scale renewable energy projects across the state, such as solar energy, wave power, geothermal and biomass conversion.

In addition to this, the Brumby Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) will increase Victoria’s electricity consumption from renewable sources to 10% by 2016. Since VRET was announced, over $2 billion in investment in renewable energy projects in Victoria has been confirmed, which will lead to the creation of at least 2200 jobs, mostly in regional Victoria. Victoria is the only state in the country operating a renewable energy target that provides a subsidy for renewable energy.

The Brumby Government has also legislated to introduce the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET), starting in 2009. VEET will help families cut their power bills and reduce emissions through measures such as adopting energy efficient appliances, lighting and insulation.

On top of VRET, ETIS and VEET, during the 2006 election the Brumby Government committed to ensuring households are paid a fair price for any power that is fed into the electricity grid.

On 6 May 2008 the Brumby Government announced the introduction of a premium solar feed-in tariff to take effect from 2009. Households will be paid 60 cents for every kilowatt hour of power fed back into the state electricity grid, which is almost four times the current retail price for electricity and the highest feed-in tariff offered in Australia.

This premium solar feed-in tariff means that the average Victorian household taking up the Federal Government’s solar panel rebate can pay off the cost of installation in under 10 years. The scheme will apply to all household solar systems of up to two kilowatts capacity.

Further details about our climate change initiatives are available at www.greenhouse.vic.gov.au and for more information on the VRET scheme and other initiatives designed to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/energy. See the attached releases for further information on the Brumby Governments $294 million climate change package (part of the 2008/09 Victorian State Budget) and the solar premium feed-in tariff.

I thank you for your interest in the matter and hope that this information has been of some assistance to you. Please feel free to pass this good news onto others.


Peter Batchelor MP
Minister for Energy & Resources

Good news? What a crock of shite! The scheme has panned out as nothing more than government greenwash, and will not help the Solar PV industry or the average Victorian one little bit. It will certainly not help me, as my system is not even eligible for the tariff, as it exceeds the maximum 2 kilowatt cap! I will explain what I mean by posting this email that I have just sent to the Energy & Resource Minister and the Premier of Victoria in disgust:

Dear Peter Batchelor MP,

Thank you for informing me about this greenwash of a scheme! I believe that the Coal Industry will be rubbing their hands all the way to the bank. The rate of 60 cents per kWh is the only good part of your plan.

Your so called “premium feed-in tariff” will not promote the rapid uptake and installation of Solar PV in this state, because with a cap of 2 kW, Victorian families will never generate enough excess power to actually receive any funds with this scheme.

Here is my reasoning. The average Australian home uses 16 kWh of power a day, and with only an average of 4.1 hours of peak sunlight in most parts of Victoria, a Solar PV system up to the maximum 2 kW cap would produce 8.2 kWh per day, which is only half of an average house’s daily energy requirements. Given that with your scheme you only get paid for the excess power produced, very few people will ever see a cent unless they are a single occupier of a home. Working Victorian families will not be conned by this rubbish.

I hope that you and your fellow ministers have the courage to throw the coal lobbyists a strong message and change your scheme to a gross metering system, without any maximum kW cap. Australia is the only country in the world that is even contemplating a net metering system, and we must be the laughing stock of the world. I am ashamed to call myself a Victorian if this is the way that our elected officials propose to combat climate change.

Yours sincerely


Enough said for this post!


  1. says

    Government:”Here is a life boat to save the world and here are some life-jackets to save the people.”
    People:”Thank you thank you. Please pass them out to us before we die…”
    Government:”You are eligible for a life jacket only if you spend a lot of money helping the world, first.”
    People:”Ok OK now give me the life jacket..”
    Gov:”Didn’t you read the fine print? It says only idiots and aliens will receive one, everyone else will have to pay it off over the next 10 years then re-apply. If you die in the meantime that’s your problem”.
    People:”How will we save the world, then?”
    Gov:”Those who support the coal industry will vote for us at the next election and then we will tell you our amazing plan!”

Comments build lively communities. Let me know your thoughts, but keep it clean and green! Spam is removed instantly.