With such an incredible abundance of sunshine in Australia, it is no surprise that interest in solar energy and its usage has continued to grow steadily for decades. This was given a huge boost by a shift in governmental attitudes to the renewable resource, and Australia is now well on the way to becoming the most solar-friendly nation on Earth.
Until 2012, Queensland operated a Solar Bonus Scheme that served to drive the installation and use of solar systems significantly. Unfortunately, that scheme is now defunct, but the state continues to benefit from the national scheme covering the QLD solar rebate is guaranteed until 2030.
Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) in Queensland
In order to meet the annual Renewable Energy Target (RET) it signed up for, the government of Australia needed to incentivise much greater use of solar energy and has certainly succeeded in doing so. This was achieved using the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) which uses Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) as a financial reward for generating solar power. Unsurprisingly, solar systems are more productive the sunnier your location and Australia is divided into 4 zones accordingly. The homes in higher-rated areas receive higher rebates in the form of STCs than lesser ones.
QLD solar rebate eligibility
It isn’t called the ‘Sunshine State’ for nothing and Queensland homeowners top the list and are eligible for the maximum rebate per kWh of exported energy they produce. This represents a significant reduction in energy bills and the QLD solar rebate has been gratefully and widely received. It should come as no surprise to learn there are already estimated to be over half-a-million rooftop solar panel systems in Queensland alone, with more appearing every day. A recent clean energy report showed Queensland generates more solar energy than any other state in Australia, with one in every three homes participating statewide. This number rises to around 50% in Brisbane, and the future of solar energy in the state looks assured.
The pros and cons of solar power
There may be some who argue there are disadvantages to solar power, such as:
• - It is highly dependent upon weather patterns and changes
• - Storing solar energy is expensive
• - The panels needed to soak up the energy take up a lot of space
However, it remains hard to argue against solar power representing a key element in meeting Australia's ever-growing energy demands moving forward. We only have to compare those disadvantages with the significant advantages on the other end of the scale:
• - As an infinitely renewable source of energy, the supply will never run out
• - Utilising solar energy helps to reduce carbon emissions
• - Energy bills are guaranteed to be lower when using solar energy
• - The Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) sweetens the financial situation further
• - Homes with solar panels are viewed more positively by prospective buyers and see an increase in value
With the continued transition towards ever-more solar power, Australia is really starting to do its part for the environment and shed its illogical dependence on fossil fuels. There is still much work to be done but perhaps the biggest hurdle has finally been conquered.