The Campbell Newman government in Queensland has decided to reduce the feed-in tariffs by 80%, according to a reports in The Australian. The current feed-in tariff will be reduced from 44c/kWh to just 8c/kWh, effective July 10, 2012. Queensland is the last Australian state to cut its FiTs to replace it with a nominal amount, supporting national decisions to reduce renewable energy subsidies. According to State energy minister Mark McArdle, the scheme would have amounted to an annual state bill of AU$1.8 billion by 2028 and the original purpose of the FiT, stimulation of the solar industry, had been achieved.
Opposition criticized the move, accusing the government of breaking the election promise of maintaining the FiT, while lobby groups voiced fears that the move could cost thousands of jobs and produce uncertainty and anxiety among solar installers.
Mark McArdle explained the decision: “We need to act now to minimize what Queensland householders and businesses pay for the solar scheme,” he said. “This approach will provide certainty for the Queensland solar PV industry, and minimize any short-term impacts on investment and jobs. While consumers will still have to weigh up the costs and benefits, the government believes the replacement tariff will still make solar PV systems a viable proposition for many households.”