"The Gillard government’s energy White Paper shows that its roof-top solar policies must now be put in the same category as pink batts and school halls as proof it could not organise a drink in a brewery, does not learn from its mistakes, and has no comprehension whatsoever of value for vast sums of public money," Queensland Nationals Senator Ron Boswell said today.
The White Paper warns the cross subsidisation of roof top solar by families that haven’t installed systems could be $4.7billion by 2020. It urges the federal and state government to work towards harmonising state based tariffs paid for roof-top solar power to reduce the cost.
But Senator Boswell said the Commonwealth, not the States, was mainly responsible for the wasteful mess.
“The explosion in demand for roof-top solar systems remains primarily built on massive upfront cash subsidies from federal taxpayers that have been augmented by the decision of states to buy the electricity they generate at inflated prices,” Senator Boswell said.
“The federal government knew, no later than mid 2009, that it had a tiger by the tail with runaway demand for the systems based on its massive subsidy and the emerging tariffs , but it has only ever tinkered at the edges because the Greens demand that roof-top solar is important for greenhouse gas abatement.”
Senator Boswell has said the claims about abatement from roof-top solar had been utterly destroyed by former Climate Change Department secretary, Dr Martin Parkinson, now Treasury Secretary, who said in a March 2010 speech that the cost of delivering 13 million tonnes of abatement by putting a system on every roof in the country would be $100 billion.
That puts the cost of roof-top abatement at a ridiculous $7692.30 per tonne.
“The whole solar roof-top debacle has been a race between politically correct Labor administrations to see who can be the greenest, with absolutely no regard to reality, least of all the cost,” Senator Boswell said. “It’s all been about a few very silly politicians feeling good when they look in the mirror.”
“One of many ironies in the White Paper is that the States and the Commonwealth have been discussing the uniform tariff regime called for in the White Paper at COAG for years, with absolutely nil result. The fact is that there should be no feed-in tariff scheme at all,” Senator Boswell said.
“As the Secretary of the Treasury has established, the whole thing is a costly folly that should never have happened.”