The Clean Energy Future Plan will see carbon priced at $23 per tonne from 1 July 2012, rising by 2.5 per cent each year during a three-year fixed price period until 1 July 2015, when the mechanism will transition to an emissions trading scheme with a price determined by the market.
The first major meeting of the clean energy industry since the announcement of the Federal Government’s carbon pricing plan will take place at EcoGen 2011, to be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 5–7 September.
Approximately 500 Australian businesses will be required to pay for their carbon emissions under the plan, and much of the revenue collected will support investment in research, project development and employment growth in the solar sector.
Elements of the new legislation package of particular relevance to the sector include:
- The establishment of an Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) with responsibility for managing $3.2 billion in existing Federal Government funding for solar power technologies and initiatives to bring them to market, including the Solar Flagships Program and the Australian Solar Institute
- The commencement of a Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to invest $10 billion in businesses launching clean energy projects, and in transforming existing manufacturers to meet demand for photovoltaic (PV) panels and other solar inputs
- A $40 million Remote Indigenous Power Program to connect remote Indigenous communities to solar power
- The expansion of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s future development of the electricity grid to prepare for greater integration with solar power.
The Australian Photovoltaic Association has said that the CEFC and ARENA will be of particular assistance for large‐scale PV project deployment, and that theRemote Indigenous Power Program among other initiatives will assist the off‐grid PV market.
Australian Solar Energy Society Chief Executive John Grimes said “While the details [of the plan] are still being worked out, it is likely big solar companies will be able to access loan guarantees and equity investments from the CEFC.”
“Big solar is a big winner in the Clean Energy Future Plan,” Mr Grimes said.
14 July 2011