With fossil fuel subsidies causing drastic problems, Western Australia's Energy Minister Mike Nathan admits that refocusing the region's energy outlet to solar power is a must. WA's energy market has increasingly become more and more unsustainable as the price of coal and gas generation and delivery rise. Acknowledging that solar power has made economic sense for some time, WA will begin implementing tactics to promote rooftop solar panel installation. We're glad to see solar becoming an important part of the government energy equation.
Here is an excerpt:
West Australian energy minister Mike Nahan has conceded the state’s electricity market faces radical change, with rooftop solar to become ubiquitous on homes and businesses within a matter of years.
In questions following an eagerly awaited speech in Perth on Tuesday, outlining the first of his government’s major energy market reforms, Nahan said solar, battery storage and off-grid installations would have a big impact on the market.
The West Australian energy market is currently a basket case. Last year, it required more than than $620 million to bridge the difference between the cost of generation and delivery of its ageing coal and gas infrastructure, and the price it charges to consumers.
That is a massive subsidy in a small market, and clearly unsustainable. It has largely been brought about by an absurd subsidy to fossil fuel generators – the so called “capacity payments” – that has seen many gas and diesel plants built at public expense and never even switched on.
The market review completed for the government says the excess capacity is just not needed. It wants the capacity mechanism removed, but the free-loading fossil fuel generators are threatening to sue for compensation.