The main Solar Rebate program in Australia is called the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), which provides subsidies for small-scale Solar panel installations. Under this scheme, individuals and businesses that install Solar power systems with a capacity of up to 100 kilowatts (kW) are eligible for a financial incentive in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).
STCs are created for every megawatt-hour of electricity that the Solar power system is expected to generate over a period of 15 years. The number of STCs a system is eligible for depends on its location, installation date, and the amount of electricity it is expected to generate. These STCs can be traded and sold to electricity retailers, who are required by law to buy a certain number of STCs each year or pay a penalty.
The value of each STC fluctuates depending on supply and demand in the market. The price per STC is typically higher in areas with less Solar penetration and where the Renewable Energy Target (RET) is not yet met. The RET is a government policy that aims to ensure that 20% of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.
In addition to the SRES, some state governments in Australia offer additional Solar rebates and incentives. These vary by state and can include grants, interest-free loans, or feed-in tariffs, which allow Solar system owners to sell excess electricity back to the grid at a premium rate.
Solar rebates in Australia have played a significant role in the rapid uptake of Solar power systems across the country. They have made Solar installations more affordable for individuals and businesses, resulting in increased Solar capacity and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.