Installing solar panels on your roof seems ok from one point of view. Getting money for your installed panels and trading the energy you get from them back to the grid is even better.

Following Germany, Spain and Italy’s example, the government of New South Wales, in Australia offers an incentive for all those who own solar panels on their roofs, paying businesses and community groups a premium rate of 60 c/KWh for the electricity they generate. There’s a limit, though: one can only have a maximum of 10 kW output from their solar installation.

Even so, the NSW government says that by using this maximized 10kW solar panel installation, the user could benefit around $10,000 a year! For the regular Joe, only $1,400 is estimated to be payed back (or exempted) to the user.

However, it appears that not all NSW electricity distributors are ready for the Solar Bonus Scheme’s gross feed in tariff. According to information from the EnergyMatters web site and current as of mid-December, Integral customers’ meters can be reprogrammed and the gross feed in tariff will be offered from today. Integral customers need to apply for the gross feed in tariff and will need to pay one off fee of $275.

To boost their program, NSW taxes the used electricity with 19 c/KWh, while they pay those who feed the grid with 60 c/KWh, so it’s a good bargain for the moment. The same deal went in Germany, where producers have been paid three times the cost of a kilowatt, at first, and then two times the cost.

Still, the initial incentive could be taken as a help for those who invested in solar panels and as a help for solar panel manufacturers. So the final investment is still the state’s, but in a more elegant, frank and smart manner, which stimulated the entire market chain, from the user to the manufacturer.

So there are solutions to the energy crisis, but you need money to start them, as with almost any new profitable business. For developed states like Germany and Spain it isn’t a problem, but for poorer countries in Africa and some European ones, there has to be an external initiative to help them put up this kind of business.

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