Regional Queensland’s solar feed-in tariff goes up

Solar power system owners in regional Queensland will start receiving a more generous rate for their solar electricity exports from July.

The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) announced the new feed-in tariff for regional customers in 2016-17 is 7.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) – 17.3 per cent higher than 2015-16.

Those receiving the 44 cents/kWh rate under the Solar Bonus Scheme will not be affected and that level will continue until 2028.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey had directed the QCA to set a suitable feed-in tariff for next financial year for regional Queensland customers.

Acting Minister for Energy Leeanne Enoch said the report meant retailers would be required to pay eligible customers the recommended feed-in tariff for the next financial year.

“The regional solar feed-in tariff is set at a higher rate for 2016-17, guaranteeing a better return for regional Queensland customers,” Ms Enoch said.

“The Palaszczuk Government has set a target of 1 million solar roof tops in Queensland by 2020, and we remain committed to that goal. We have also asked the Queensland Productivity Commission to look at a fair price for solar and the final report will be delivered in the coming months, which we will fully consider.”

The improved rate for regional Queensland is a result of an increase in wholesale energy costs, driven by a jump in demand from Queensland-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and higher gas costs.