Phasing out the solar multiplier early, whilst delaying the real cost of methane emissions, as announced by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today, is another knee-jerk response that harms a popular, clean industry, and gives the fossil fuel industry a reprieve, the Australian Greens said.
"Australians love solar power and have been embracing it in droves, helping drive down peak demand for electricity and make solar panels cheaper and cheaper." Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"Why is a Labor government hitting successful small businesses that employ thousands of Australians right around the country, at the same time as delaying until 2017 the higher costs for methane emissions from mines and landfills?"
"It seems incredible that the Government wants to bring forward harm to renewable energy industries but delay cost impacts to fossil fuel polluters.
"It is gold-plating of energy networks that is driving up power bills - not green schemes - and the government has caved into lobbying by the electricity retailers and fossil fuel generators to do something which will have almost no impact on electricity bills."
"This move might at the outset cut bills by $11 a year, but it will actually slow down the long-term process of cutting bills that is being driven by the uptake of clean, fuel-free renewable energy. It just doesn't make sense."
"This is likely to set off a stampede to install systems to beat the January 1 deadline. It is disturbing this has been done whilst the Climate Change Authority is considering the future of the scheme. We hope it will demonstrate to the Climate Change Authority and the Government why tinkering further with the solar multiplier and the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme is bad policy. The industry needs stable, long-term policy - not knee-jerk decisions like this."