Solar Power Tax

Hi Guys, basically after reading this really pissed, summary of the below article is Either we have to Switch of our Invertors to avoid being charged for feeding to the Grid or we have to buy the Battery to get Little compensated if we feed back to grid in evening like may be few pennies.

  1. How in the world we have such evil dragons sitting up there who basically want free money from us, no matter what bullish laws they can make and who is allowing them to do.

  2. Basically they conducted a so called "Survey" and i believe they used all their paid actors in the survey so they got the result 69% of Solar house hold said this is a positive change.

  3. Can some one make me understand how paying more for something which you already paid a lot (by installing solar) now you have to pay even more is positive.

  4. By reading this article i am very certain they are going to make public pay more for electricity so they can feed their money hungry dragons who basically just want money from public, it doesnt matter what they name it infrastructure, Tax, investment for future.

  5. Basically if they taking our money for future investment are they giving any gurante that they going to give us free electricity in future instead they are not going to earn profit on it and put in their pockets.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/solar-power-tax-to-b...

Comments

  • +1 vote

    RU OK?

    • +4 votes

      Hmm Angry otherwise ok, because this is clearly a hammer to any initiative towards zero emission. This will be a penalty to if you think greener.

  • +3 votes

    Perhaps mining crypto with the surplus energy could be a stop gap solution (for the consumer) - if it could be programmed to start/stop based on solar production and feed-in tariff.

    •  

      It would also heat your house in winter.

    • +2 votes

      This is actually what I've taken to doing. Spare gaming PC at home with a 3080 going unused 70% of the time, and reliable solar every day. The energy consumed by mining crypto returns about 40x what they'd pay me for feeding that same amount of energy back into the grid. And I run Home Assistant for whole home automation, so very easy to turn off/on mining when there's no excess solar being generated. Completely sustainable crypto mining.

      Passively over about 1.5 months, I've earned $100 in BTC while my PC is idling during the day.

      •  

        If you mine 24/7 even without solar you turn a profit. There is no point in stopping mining when the sun sets if your thinking purely of money, it's just you lose a small percentage of your earnings due to buying power.

        I have a 3080 but never mine with it, for what I paid for it it's not worth my time!

        •  

          I feel bad about using fossil fuels, hence only mining while generating. Not sustainable energy otherwise.

          Hear you about the risks though. I ended up modding mine. Removed the stock cooler and put some Noctuas on it, as well as replaced the terrible stock thermal pads. Now it hums along at about 60c core and 85c tjunc temp while mining. Much better than the 75c core and 104c tjunc it was getting before.

  • +10 votes

    Because "big coal"… Gotta protect those political donations…

    •  

      Maybe, I think it's more that with solar panels, the energy provider lose income, and to keep up their expenses ( lets not go there ) they have to charge more. Now people with PV systems are less affected, but "poor" renter and LOWER INCOME households would see their electricity bill increase. So this Solar Panel Tax is another "Social Tax" imposed on people investing in PV instead of Pot, alcohol and paint.

  • -3 votes

    I got a solar panels, i think if priced correctly it provides the right incentives for more home battery up take, which I think is essential.

    I have in principle agreement with this structure, but I do think the appropriate pricing is necessary, which will probably screw us over.

    Currently, during sunny days power companies pay us to take power during the day, and also pay industry to take the excess power. They literally have to pay twice, imagine if that was you, anger levels would multiply.

    •  

      pay us to take power during the day

      Never had Energy Australia offering me free electricity.

      •  

        I didn’t realise you’re an industrial user.

        •  

          I did not know "us" stands Industrial User.

          • +3 votes

            @cameldownunder: I see the mistake in my post.

            Clarification:
            Power companies pay us for power [FIT], and pay industry to take that excess power.

  • +9 votes

    Unpopular balanced opinion - there is a balance that needs to be struck between solar generation and the grid supply.

    The power companies don't have an unconstrained ability to scale their generation up and down, and they have a problem when what they are producing exceeds demand - the power has to go somewhere. Plus they lose money on it.

    As more and more people get solar, the demands on the grid reduce during the day, but stay around at night. This creates a problem, that isn't consistent day to day - on some days when it is clear solar generation is high and there is not so much demand on the grid, on other days it is overcast and there is increased demand on the grid.

    It's easy to sit back and throw stones, but these are the realities of operating a power network. We have a privatised grid, so on some level it exists to make money and if it isn't profitable then there is an issue. But beyond that, it is still a necessity - unless you have a solar system that allows you to go off grid completely including at night, you still need the grid, and it isn't able to handle the variability that has been introduced due to solar feed in so something has to happen. The easiest to implement solution is to restrict feed in during times when generation is high and demand is low.

    We're lucky in that our power supply is generally very solid and rarely interrupted (excluding the odd occasion and especially freak events like the storms in the Dandenongs), which comes at a cost.

    The safest way to calculate your return on a solar system is to look at the costs for your own usage that you won't incur and treat feed in as a bonus that isn't secure in the long term. It has been whittled down over time and there is no reason to think that won't continue as more and more people get their own solar systems, and the variability that the grid has to deal with continues to increase based on time of day and weather.

    • +2 votes

      Good post.
      Perhaps the move to solar was flawed in that it was only half-baked, with the incentive to 'feed-in' being the carrot to move. If it had been a more complete solution from the start, with subsidies to include battery storage (either as individuals or as small-groups) at the time we wouldn't have had these 'problems'. But, there was a reluctance to accept that the technology existed, and that the market would support it.
      Now we are in catch-up and paying for the lack of foresight.

      Would moving the infrastructure ownership back into government hands be a better solution?

      • +1 vote

        I'm not sure battery technology is there yet. The batteries degrade fairly quickly - within months you're only able to charge them to 80% of what they originally held etc.

        I'm not an expert on the infrastructure but I imagine the cost of a scalable grid would be somewhere towards uneconomical.

        • +4 votes

          Citation? The Tesla power wall warranty is 80% after 10years.

          Consider when talking about the costs of grid power we historically had coal generators burning away all night because they are not demand responsive to the point where we engineered off-park hot water and other solutions to that waste.

          Battery backed solar at the fringe will also push the can down the road, as those homes will contribute less to demand at any time, piling up costs on the consumers with no solar.

          Fortunately, AEMO has solutions that are cost economical and emissions responsible - just need a government to stop subsidising legacy operators.

          • +1 vote

            @mskeggs: My boss, who had his batteries replaced 3 times under warranty in less than 2 years for capacity degradation before he gave up on using them and started feeding his solar back into the grid instead of recharging them, which was economically beneficial to him at the time.

            That may have changed now, I haven't checked in more recently

            And it seems like the Telstra warranty is 70%.

            •  

              @Domingo: That is pretty shocking quality control.
              And you are right on the 70%, I misremembered.

            • +1 vote

              @Domingo: overcharge and undercharge are often the reasons why battery degrading that quickly.

              •  

                @jpl: so get a smart charge controller or them mppt ones with pwm.

        •  

          I'm not sure battery technology is there yet. The batteries degrade fairly quickly - within months you're only able to charge them to 80% of what they originally held etc.

          That is completely and utterly false.

        •  

          I'm not sure battery technology is there yet. The batteries degrade fairly quickly - within months you're only able to charge them to 80% of what they originally held etc.

          Then get batteries with longer warranties and whenever they go bad, claim warranty against them since they're no longer up to par… Or get lithium batteries instead of deep cycle agm or whatever.

    • +1 vote

      They should have a demand system that allows us to turn on a heater and use it up. Incentivise us to use it up, instead of punishing people. Make it cheaper for people to recharge their tesla powerwalls.

      We already have a demand system to use less power, so why don't we have one to go the other way? Energy Australia's PowerResponse program.

    • +8 votes

      So where does it stop? Victorians are getting taxed on EV soon. What next? If you grow your own fruit and veg we will get taxed too because the industry is privatised and they can’t scale to supply and demand. Only in Australia. No wonder this government is fighting tooth and nail against any sort of climate change. Disgrace.

    •  

      unless you have a solar system that allows you to go off grid completely including at night,

      Small power generator

    • +4 votes

      As more and more people get solar, the demands on the grid reduce during the day, but stay around at night. This creates a problem, that isn't consistent day to day - on some days when it is clear solar generation is high and there is not so much demand on the grid, on other days it is overcast and there is increased demand on the grid.

      WInd blows at night.

      Hydro

      Tidal power

      Look at salt water batteries, they are cheap as.

      Problem is not the lack of option but the lack of will. You know the person who's been making money from easy oil that basically spurts out of the ground is too lazy to do anything else.

      •  

        do u know how much those wind turbines cost to buy and install? They cost more than an equivalent solar array install! Dunno where to get hydro but that doesnt matter unless you live near a flowing river…

        •  

          Google and learn. There is a Basslink cable that allows Hydro in Tasmania to supply Victoria wikipedia

          Wikipedia might be fake news compared to you know Youtube random videos.

          •  

            @netjock: So basically build your hydro next to a flowing river and then build one long ass cable running from the hydro plant to your house? I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure the expense of building such a long cable back to your house would be uneconomical….unless you plan on selling the power you get from hydro, however much you get anyways - no idea how that compares to wind and solar….

            •  

              @Zachary: Just because you can't afford it don't get in the way of renewable energy. Get off your high horse.

              Large scale renewables is actually more cost effective than depending on everyone putting solar because there is always climate change deniers.

              •  

                @netjock:

                Just because you can't afford it don't get in the way of renewable energy. Get off your high horse.

                Well well, tell that to those people who are in charge of running Australia and get them to make renewable energy instead of coal or nuclear. Cost is everything here, if you can't afford it then you can't do it, that's just how it is here.

                •  

                  @Zachary:

                  Well well, tell that to those people who are in charge of running Australia and get them to make renewable energy instead of coal or nuclear.

                  Shifting the blame. We got hydro in Tasmania and we got Snowy 2.0 plus pump hydro projects. Stop hiding under a rock.

      • -3 votes

        Wind doesn’t blow at night usually.

        • +3 votes

          It also doesn't rain at night and rivers don't flow. The earth is also flat.

          • -2 votes

            @netjock: It’s a fact. It’s also why water skiers ski at dawn - less wind.

      • +1 vote

        Hydro

        Those currently depending on water within the Hoover Dam in the USA will have a warning or two regarding "hydro electricity".

        Yes it is not here and not our problem but it might be something to consider for a water scarce Australia.

        Tidal? Read about them 50 years ago. Not much has been achieved. As in working power plants.
        Ocean currents? Yes there are quite a few but only in areas with known and proven strong and steady ocean currents.

        Awful to say but the "4letter word" energy producing technology sounds tempting. Risky but tempting.
        It is "NCLR" by the way …

        •  

          Pumped hydro. It is like a big battery.

          Water scarcity is a problem but you forget on earth there isn't the lack of water it is just in the wrong places.

          • +1 vote

            @netjock:

            it is just in the wrong places

            Agree.
            But currently China is the only country aliveating by building aqueducts of some kind.
            In other words, nobody seems to be doing anything about it.
            Let it flood, let it drought.

            It is academic if plenty of water is safely flowing in the underground aquifer but if there is no interest of pumping it up to a useful purpose then there is no win.

            Anyway … horrendously off topic … I'm sorry OP :(

            •  

              @LFO: Victoria is doing something

              Just not enough because the problem is the way that people use water. Turn it on and it comes out of the tap. If nothing comes out then what am I paying for? It is like toilet paper, the more you say there is less / shortage then people tend to use more not less.

  • +4 votes

    The majority of people who thought the feed-in "tax" was OK were those that didn't have solar panels. This implies they didn't understand the question or the process or were simply jealous of those that have reduced power bills due to having solar.

    You only have to look in the comments of solar PV advertisements on facebook to realise that many people have no idea of how solar or the billing process works.

  • +4 votes

    I think this is an indication that the energy market has been stuck in the past for so long and it hasn't caught up with changes in the way that most consumers probably want to head.
    It sounds like the electricity infrastructure cannot handle this volume of feed-in, and I suppose it will cost a fortune to upgrade that.
    The alternatives are either:
    - Generators of electricity (i.e. those with solar systems) capture their energy into batteries for their own use
    - Groups of generators (small communities / groups) collectively capture their energy and share between that same group.
    Both of these actually leave the energy infrastructure managers out in the cold.

    • +1 vote

      yes!! this.

      Crowd source community energy.

      Those without solar energy can buy from the "group" at cheaper than normal rate, higher than the feed-in rate. Win-win.

      Form Solar Energy Australia and lobby for the rights to go off grid from the providers.

      •  

        Do you need anyone's approval to go off grid?

        A lot of local councils in Victoria are already delivering programs for the bulk-buy of solar, batteries, etc.
        As well as this: https://www.communitysolar.org.au/

        • +1 vote

          Yup. You need the council and the grids permission.

  • +2 votes

    Federal gov loves coal and greenhouse gases….anything 'green' must be taxed and stopped. Its the devil to these companies profits!

  • +6 votes

    The federal government’s lack of anything approaching leadership is being increasingly exposed. Be clear they are responsible for the lack of a national approach that is effective, and we will continue to have to pay subsidies like this to prop up incumbent operators for a long time yet.

    That said, it is important people without access to solar don’t subsidise the grid for solar houses that only use it sometimes. That isn’t fair to apartment dwellers, renters or people on low incomes.

    In any case, except for one or two places in Vic, this problem is fake news, as the issues can be addressed without system wide taxes.

  •  

    Funnily enough this fair, balanced and neutral language survey they reference doesn't appear to be made public. I can't find any references to the findings let alone the questions or respondent demographics.

    The proposed changes are crazy though because they are admitting to almost completely offset any profits made by an average household (i.e. $100 of charges for a household that typically feeds in $120 a year), which doesn't remotely compensate the home owners for the wholesale network benefits that small scale solar provides (much of which reduces network loads) like generating power right where it is used and significantly reducing the wholesale cost of power.

    I have purchased a solar system that is in the process of being installed, but since the roof is being repainted first won't be connected until probably early September. I'm going to be mighty annoyed if I put down $10k on solar and miss out on even grandfathered policies.

  • +5 votes

    The answer is simple. Start hoarding GPU and mine. The excess power goes to keeping the network secure, the block reward will be worth more than the tax, it's ♻️ sustainable and friendly.

    Btw it also takes away the government's monopoly on money control.

    •  

      They ( the energy provider ) want us to consume electricity even the people with solar.

      •  

        They ( the energy provider ) want us to consume the electricity that we generate even the people with solar.

        FTFY

        •  

          NQY: The want us to get from the power-net even if PV is generating: If in future PV owners have to pay if they feed in, and don't want a battery, they might opt to OVER consume what they have generated,

          But chances are that if Australia is not reducing CO2 emission ( through PV for example ) the EU will impose penalty sanction taxes on goods imported by the EU from Australia.

          Generally speaking, the current Australian Government is not exactly very green

    •  

      Been doing exactly this. The return on mining is about 40x that on what energy companies want to pay for excess kWh anyway. Made $100 in BTC in a little over 1.5 months just mining during the day while I'm at work. Completely sustainable, passive income.

      •  

        What are you using to mine? Just out of curiosity.

        •  

          Just NiceHash QuickMiner. It's pretty damn simple for casual mining.

      •  

        what are you mining? My math comes out at 95% cost of electricity or just under 3x feed in tariff.

        •  

          Sorry, was a typo - 4x, not 40x. 8c/kWh FIT, 24c/kWh energy cost, mining earns about 33c/hr. So yeah, 4.17x FIT.

          •  

            @trankillity: Etherium?

            •  

              @HelpMeiCantSee: Just NiceHash Quickminer. You sell hashpower, and NiceHas pays you in BTC. Only worthwhile for very casual mining, otherwise better off looking into it further.

          •  

            @trankillity: A friend and I joked about this a while back. Definitely worth looking into.

  •  

    It better be on time of use and not some flat tax. We can all just turn on our heaters or buy some crypto miners.

    I suspect it will be from 11 am to 2 pm, if it is implemented.

  • +6 votes

    The LNP government had two choices here to pay for batteries; as the monopolistic private electricity providers don't want to pay:
    - Curb subsidies for coal, making users switch to solar
    - Or tax solar energy users, and curb solar power uptake and keep users on coal

    They are the COALition after all.

  • +2 votes

    Not wanting to be all talk, I just sent an email to my local state MP, voicing my strong opposition and request for state intervention to block any changes that will slow the rollout of clean energy.

    Let's hope the states follow through and water down of block the changes (they have previously voiced opposition to the changes).

  • +1 vote

    No Solar Tax, No Going to Work (EV) Tax.

    Simple. Vote whoever approves these taxes out because they were not part of election promise nor they have a mandate to introduce one.

    Vote stupidity out please!

  • -2 votes

    How in the world we have such evil dragons sitting up there who basically want free money from us

    You must be nort years old… This has only been the way since Ugg the caveman lived 242987239487923874 yrs ago

  •  

    Yep this is another government driven tax because they didn't do their future proofing and now we have an archaic system that can't handle the PV output.

    I remember the report when it went negative for the first time and they ramped up coal generation so it would cost the pv and wind farms money, with the coal stations knowing they'd recoup it in the long run.

    I don know though to get around it Fronius has come out with a firmware update to switch off the inverter if it ever goes negative. But i agree it's counterintuitive, penalising those for generating electricity.

    • +1 vote

      Australia government is tops at stupidity.

      To think rest of the world is charging ahead with moving to renewables we're finding ways of stopping it.

      You'd think all the money we've been paying to power distribution networks they must be spending it on something. It is kind of like the government saying that they take you money and built the roads but never expected you to have to make the return trip therefore charge you a tax.

      Also the belief that poor families are paying to subsidise rich people when feed is rates are like 10c during the day and peak electricity is like 24c, Renewables pushing down prices are good for the less well off.

      I'd like to see these charities giving out solar panels to less well off but obviously they can't guarantee these people would still be less well off after a period of time.

      •  

        Meanwhile here in WA i'm getting 3c a kw/h off peak and 10c peak.

        It's ridiculous when you buy the same power back at 20c a kw. (Luckily we're not connected to the east coast system so not likely to go negative).

        Basically protecting their stranded assets, they really should be looking at implementing solar storage now rather than criticising the high levels of power generation.

        They're looking for a problem, not a solution with the attitude they're going about it.

  •  

    Welcome to the Green Raw Deal I guess?

  • +1 vote

    Why isn't that ultra cheap 12pm - 3pm rates during the day to use that excess power? Oh yes it doesn't suit those who want to making a massive profit buying cheap power and retailing it for 24c per KwH. The retailers seem to not complain.

    Maybe it is just the networks trying to have a second bit of the cherry.

    peak advocacy group for residential and small business power customers, Energy Consumers Australia

    LOL who's been paying for these people's representation? Not on my power bills. Sounds like a lobby grounp supported by those expected to benefit.

    Network companies are not expected to seek significant upgrades to their infrastructure, he said, but would need to invest in new systems to manage the two-way flow of power into and out of the grid

    That is like saying we're raising significantly tolls during peak hour but not building more lanes but just tweaking the traffic lights.

    The stupidity of this country knows no limits.

  • +5 votes

    Why aren't the power companies investing in large scale batteries to store the excess power? It makes more sense to get economies of scale than to get a Power walk into why home with solar.

    • +1 vote

      This is the argument of many of the states. I know this is the proposal the QLD state MP for energy and renewals is pushing as the solution instead of these guidelines, and my hope is he will block the solar tax to do so.

      Let's continue to incentivise clean energy and work on network level solutions instead of taxing clean energy, ignoring the benefits of local generation and disenfranchising homeowners who were incentivised by the government to do their bit in the first place.

    •  

      Why aren't the power companies investing in large scale batteries to store the excess power?

      Some of them like AGL own coal generation assets. The governments also want to get coal money (jobs, royalties etc)

      Also why install storage when you can throw it out and still get people to pay for it (the cost of electricity paid by consumers covers that). If you start fining them for wasting electricity and don't allow them to pass on the cost, that would be a different problem.

  • +2 votes

    I'm sure everyone is hanging out for my perspective…. I see the views expressed here, esp ones about what to do with excess daytime energy if everyone has panels…
    The point is FEED IN tariff is provided by providers, not the government, so tax is just stupid IMHO, and another disincentive to go green.

    What the government should do is provide incentives for people to go green, not that we want everyone to have solar panels, we are merely making statements that we LIKE environmental STEPS FORWARD and we are doing what we can, investing where we can, promoting clean power and essentially saying NO to COAL!.

    Batteries on your home solar is not a complete solution, my 5kW system creates ample energy during summer but here in Tassie there is no way in winter I generate enough to benefit from batteries. Having the grid as my virtual battery is nice. I roughly get 10c for every kWh I put in, and at night economy time I take it out at 15c. That just means 5c storage fee. Fair is fair.

    Now if the energy providers invest in batteries that would be a good solution for now so the excess feed-in gains can be stored for PM and AM peak demand. I like the suburb based batteries, but whatever.

    And if people also add one or more small wind turbines to their solar, just one or two 400W simple ones on the roofline, then we would also be able to generate some extra energy on windy days and nights.

    The last thing the government needs to do now is implement taxes on feed-in tariffs!

    •  

      What took you so long to provide your thoughts?

  •  

    The government promoted solar without consulting the electricity providers.
    The grid was never set up to accept feeding in from solar panels.
    Now apparently they are getting much more than they need and its a huge problem for them.

    Hence they are trying to discourage solar panels feeding back into the grid.

    You are still allowed to run your home off your solar panels and its recommended you now install a battery to store energy for even/night use.

    So basically you become self sufficient.

    You just cant force them to take back your excess electricity.

    Sorry but it all makes sense to me.

    Just never thought out out properly by the politicians in the first place unfortunately.
    It was just a great vote buying exercise a the time

    • +1 vote

      Note that the electricity providers aren't suggesting that you don't feed your power back. They still plan on taking it (it is still useful to them - the location of the power is also useful - not transporting it long distances), they just plan to take the vast majority of infeed profits for themselves.

      Despite decrying that this is a massive issue, still planning on accepting the energy, not offering any incentives for people to move other high load appliances to the middle of the day (like the reduced rate overnight tariffs for hot water), they also have not proposed major infrastructure expenditure following these changes.

      •  
        •  

          That article literally says it isn't a great solution to the problem. The person saying that the outcry was overblown and it was a good thing was a spokesperson for the private energy company that proposed the changes to the AEMC.

          •  

            @Joshm12: The point is that the networks are not designed to cope with solar power feed in at such high levels

  •  

    I did a survey about this about a month ago. I am not a paid actor.
    I have solar panels, and exported power earns me a pittance (Sydney, Ausgrid, Origin pays me 7c/kWh).

    Survey covered lots of different things (e.g. community funded communal battery storage systems), and lots of "preference" questions.
    (something like: would you prefer a very low feed in tariff all the time, or nothing mid-day and a high tariff only in times of peak demand)

    I don't remember users paying to export being an option, but if it was I would have put it very low, but…

    I can understand the the networks not being able to cope with extra power during the day. We need to store it in batteries, or EVs plugged in at work/commuter carpark, or for the networks to trigger off peak water heaters, to use it when it is being generated.

    •  

      I can understand the the networks not being able to cope with extra power during the day

      TOU tariff has 7am - 11pm as peak, so you wonder why?

  • +1 vote

    Well guys we all agree about the issue but not about the proposed solution.

    Proposed Solution is Energy companies are sgaying.

    1. They will charge us 3 times if we use at night time usage for future Investment to solve the problem.
    2. They will charge us day time when we export to grid for future investment.
    3. They will pay us a negligible amount may be in pennies if we export at night time.

    Big Questions is Energy consumers have been paying all these extra charges and taxes for their future investment in past did they have give us anything back from our payments in past for their future investment.
    2nd Question is if they going to charge us for this investment what benefits we going to get and when?
    3rd Question as these companies are private where is check and balance of these charges(Labled as future investment or grid upgrade charges) being charged to us and these companies earn profit by charging us and their big bosses take big chunks of these profits, why?
    4.why they don't invest that profit in future investment and start installing local community based batteries and down the track in couple of years they will sit and earn huge profit by house hold solar charging these batteries and they selling that energy by small investment they will start to earn huge profits soon.

    By having the local community battery setup is perfect solution but these companies need to invest their money or they can barrow and invest and return after profiting.
    In this way they can keep incentivising the house hold for solar feed and charging their battery network and they can charge back consumer when any body consume that energy from the battery network which more then 90% Australians will do at night time when there is no solar and they dont have their own battery setup.