Feeds

Australia cuts solar subsidies, and not before time

It's becoming competitive, and doesn't need support

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Is the market close to sustainability?

Ignoring ideology, the pragmatic question is whether or not the subsidies have created a market that can survive without them. I can’t say “yes” for certain, but the market looks more sustainable than it did five years ago.

Some industries – in Australia, childcare is a notorious example – use subsidies to lift their prices. Since the government’s going to pay half the fee, the market can slap on a premium, and the end user still gets to book a small saving.

The price falls in the solar industry in Australia, I argue, indicate that the market is sufficiently competitive to respond to changes in its circumstances, and might no longer need a direct installation subsidy.

To return a lower-subsidy industry to where it was in 2008, solar power needs to trim its installed prices by around 20 percent. In three years, it’s achieved double that – 40 percent, more or less.

Setting aside labour costs, the rising Australian dollar alone could do the trick, since there appears to be enough competition (and desperation) to stop the market simply gouging the consumers.

For some reason – perhaps it’s the level at which you can expect payoff while you’re still alive – A$6,000 seems to be a psychological price point for entry-level solar panel installations. Even with the reduced subsidy, the industry isn’t that far off the mark, and could well reach it by market dynamics alone.

The outcome would be a country in which solar setups become worthwhile in their own right, without all the downsides of the government subsidy. Is that a bad thing? ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.