The Victorian Government’s plan to reward solar power users for the electricity they provide during critical peak demand events will encourage more home batteries to be installed and recognise the important contribution of solar power to energy security, the Clean Energy Council said today.

Clean Energy Council Policy Manager Darren Gladman said solar power was a very important source of power when the power grid was under stress, particularly during summer heatwaves when a lot of people were running their air-conditioners.

As part of the Victorian Government’s response to the recommendations of the state Essential Services Commission into the value of solar energy, a ‘critical peak payment’ of 30 cents a kilowatt-hour will go to solar households for the electricity they supply to the grid during times of high demand. Under the response, different minimum payments for solar energy will be paid to solar users during different periods.

“The reality is that solar power users in most states are paid a very low rate for their power during periods when that renewable energy is worth a premium,” Mr Gladman said.

“If you are selling water in the middle of the desert when people want a lot of water, you would expect to be earning more for what you are selling.

“It makes sense that if the value of electricity suddenly jumps due to heatwaves or other peak demand events, solar users should be rewarded for the electricity they are supplying for everyone’s benefit during these periods.

“This new system is simply better recognition of the true value of solar power when it flows back into the power grid. This will also help to provide an incentive to install home battery systems, which are coming down rapidly in price but still outside the reach of many working families.

“The recognition of the role solar power plays to reduce emissions is also a welcome move from the government,” he said.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.