Solar market headed for trouble if rebates keep falling

The solar panel market is “on the verge of collapse” according to a report from SMH.com.au, due entirely to the lowering value of renewable energy certificates for consumers and companies.

The report, written by Ben Cubby, says the number of companies installing solar panels on their rooftops is falling as the government’s renewable energy certificates are no longer worth what they were a month ago.

Cubby’s report says the industry is calling for set costs for solar panels, which would assumedly allow manufacturers to more accurately estimate the number of panels needed per month, regardless of fluctuating government grants.

Rebates are currently at $31 per energy bill, falling from $37 per energy bill in January.

Cubby quoted a spokesperson from a solar panel installer as saying: ”This makes the whole industry look bad and brings the type of debacle the home insulation program resulted in. If the industry cannot effectively promote and sell their products at a reasonable price, the industry will be decimated.”

In New South Wales, the rebates are currently funded through the state government’s Climate Change Fund, which has blown-out to almost $2 billion. 

The Fund has been in the spotlight for months due to consumers taking advantage of rebates, decking-out their entire roofs with solar panels and receiving almost their entire energy bills back in rebates.

Australia’s only solar cell manufacturer, SilexSolar, announced last month that it was increasing production at its Sydney Olympic Park plant due to skyrocketing demand from Australian households.

Similarly, a leading solar manufacturing company, Eco-Kinetics, announced last month it will construct a cutting-edge facility on the Gold Coast, regardless of recent floods and following investment from the Queensland Government.

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