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Why the Renewable Energy Target Review May Put Solar Power Out of Reach for Australian Households


GEELONG, Australia August 2014 – Solar power developers and investors are getting spooked with the ongoing Renewable Energy Target review. Silex recently rescinded plans to build a 100 megawatt solar plant at Mildura and in July, Pacific Hydro cancelled $500 million of investment, including a 42-turbine wind farm north-east of Adelaide.

According to the Australian Government’s Department of Environment, the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme is designed to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. The RET scheme is helping to transform electricity into a cleaner and more diverse source, while supporting growth and employment in the renewable energy sector.

However, recent events are snowballing into what looks like the end of the Renewable Energy Target, with the Abbott Government’s review into the RET leaning towards its demise, meaning the end of any discounts for households using renewable energy in Australia. If the RET gets the axe, the discount received up front by household and business owners, and community groups and charities will be gone. Only those who have already signed contracts with installation companies and those who have already had solar power installed in their premises will receive discounts.

Households currently receive an upfront concession of between $1,000 and $3,200, depending on the size of the system they install, while businesses can save up to $64,000 off the cost of a 100kW system.

Christian Pritchett, director of Geelong’s leading solar power installation company, City to Surf Solar+ says, “Axing the Renewable Energy Target, and hence the upfront discount, will put solar power out of reach for many everyday Australian households. People are tired of opening their electricity bills only to find that they have gone up again. Installing solar power is one way they can take matters into their own hands.”

According to Christian, axing the RET will increase solar energy installation costs, which will mean less solar power usage in the community. It will also affect jobs in the renewable energy sector, especially in the Geelong region alone, as many renewable energy companies may have to close their doors or let workers go.

Christian says, “The Australian public, especially Geelong residents, love solar power – for the last three years, the 3216 postcode has been in the top 10 for solar installations in Victoria. For obvious reasons, the big power companies who own the coal-fired stations do not. The Government should be listening to the public, to the people who voted them in, and not the big power companies.”

Christian urges concerned Australians to write to Sarah Henderson, the Liberal Federal MP for Corangamite, about the importance of solar power and renewable energy for households, businesses, community groups and charities, and for the country moving forward in to the future.

“In terms of City to Surf Solar+ and our employees, we have worked so hard over the last seven years to build up our company and employ local staff. To think that it all could crumble around us is devastating.  If you have been thinking about installing solar power but have been indecisive, now is the time to do something about it and take advantage of the Government discount while it is still there,” says Christian.

Geelong’s City to Surf Solar+ is a premier solar power and LED lighting specialist company with a staff of qualified experts in solar power system installation and maintenance, and home power monitoring. Products and services include solar panels and modules, inverters, installation, maintenance, power monitoring, grid backup/stand alone, community and schools solar, and LED lighting.

Discover more about the Renewable Energy Target and renewable energy in Australia at


 Renewable energy
 RET scheme
 Renewable energy sector
 Solar power
 Solar power installation

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