The proposal for a solar export tax stops following a deluge of competing proposals

The Australian Commission on the Energy Market has made a proposal to levy a tax on solar rooftop exports while considering a torrent of conflicting views on the best approach to include rooftops, batteries and other emerging technology.

Solar tax was one of the most controversial ideas before the market rulemaker – despite coming from several consumer advocacy groups and a network – and was supported by a significant response by market participants, analysts and consumers.

 

After receiving a high number of what it terms “diverging perspectives,” the AEMC extended the timeframe for its report to 12 August and wants to take this into account in detail. It got 50 answers from energy corporations, governments and other organisations, as well as over 100 answers from people.

 

“We have had valuable and different alternatives from stakeholders – it takes time to explore these completely,” AEMC Chairwoman Anna Collyer said in a statement.

 

“Extending the publishing date for another month would assist us in addressing the major issues.”

 

The solar tax was proposed in part to ensure that no solar family rooftop could suffer arbitrary ‘export restrictions’ typically set by networks.

The suggestion to impose a solar export tax following a flood of conflicting views

Giles Parkinson’s July 2, 2021 Leave a How to

 

 

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The Australian Commission for the Energy Market has made a proposal to levy a tax on solar rooftop exports, considering an inundation of conflicting views as to how best to combine solar rooftop, batteries and other emerging technology.

 

Solar tax, while coming from several consumer advocacy groups and a single network, was one of the most controversial suggestions put forward to regulate the market, and its support for the concept gave market participants, analysts and consumers an enormous response.

 

After receiving a high number of what it terms “diverging perspectives,” the AEMC extended the timeframe for its report to 12 August and wants to take this into account in detail. It got 50 answers from energy corporations, governments and other organisations, as well as over 100 answers from people.

 

“We have had valuable and different alternatives from stakeholders – it takes time to explore these completely,” AEMC Chairwoman Anna Collyer said in a statement.

 

“Extending the publishing date for another month would assist us in addressing the major issues.”

 

The solar tax was proposed in part to ensure that no solar family rooftop could suffer arbitrary ‘export restrictions’ typically set by networks.

 

 

 

It was suggested that the money collected from the solar tax would pay the minor costs of updating the solar rooftop. It recommended a fee of about 2 c/kWh on power sent back into the grid, but this may also depend on time and state-to-state.

 

Many claimed that tax is a regressive move, significantly crimps home economic advantages from rooftop solar and sends a bad signal to customers, especially when the cost of network upgrades was not considerable.

 

The former head of the Victorian regulator, the Essential Services Commission, Ron Ben-David, argued that the idea on solar taxes was pointless since they did not address the main issue of regulation.

“The AEMC has unfortunately disregarded its obligation to deal with these two tough issues entirely. Rather, it seeks shelter in an obsolete regulatory system and is setting the course towards the Australian Energy Regulator,” he said in an essay on RenewEconomy.

 

Some significant energy firms, including EnergyAustralia, have voiced worry that the solar tax might spread to larger plants, such as storage of batteries and gas turbines at grid scale.

 

“Grid-scale batteries and gas-speaking plants incur large link-up charges,” he observed, adding that export tariffs should not discourage their usage.

 

The tiny NSW-based Enova merchant claimed that the idea itself of export costs and the reduction of tariff feed will limit the use of solar pv.

 

“Such a slowdown is certainly not in Australia’s best interest to move to a carbon-free economy,” he said. “It is also not for the best interests of communities that have to continue to rely on huge power producers to produce less self-sufficient and less resilient communities.”

 

In the meanwhile, Tesla claimed that solar rates might grow more dynamic. They proposed a system whereby homeowners would be compensated during peak times, but would pay an export fee during periods when solar is not needed, while paying the grid for it, while paying higher import costs for peak hours.

 

The AEMC has meanwhile focused on the development of regulations that can cater for the expected growth of the Solar Rooftop and efficiently integrate new technologies such as home batteries and electric vehicles.

 

Collyer stated in a statement that “We are dedicated to developing a long-term solution that works for all energy users.

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