There are two Government schemes available in Queensland for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme
This Australian Government scheme encourages the installation of solar water heaters, heat pumps, and small-scale solar PV (up to 100kW), wind and hydro systems by issuing buyers with Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).
STCs are an electronic form of money and are allocated to you when you install an eligible system. You get one certificate per one megawatt-hour of electricity generated by your solar PV system over 14 years1.
STCs have to be created within 12 months of your system being installed.
There are two ways to cash-in your certificates:
You can create and sell your STCs yourself Wholesale buyers of electricity (mainly electricity retailers) purchase STCs to help them meet their renewable energy targets. The price they pay per certificate depends on market supply and demand at the time. STC trading is done online via the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Registry, and their REC calculator helps you estimate how many STCs your proposed solar PV system will earn.
You can assign your STCs to a registered agent Registered agents are usually solar retailers or traders who will pay you the market value for your STCs. Solar retailers usually offer an upfront discount off your solar PV system if you assign your STCs to them. This is the most popular option as it’s simpler and faster than trading your STCs yourself.
This Queensland Government scheme pays eligible customers in regional Queensland a feed-in tariff for their unused solar power that they export back to the grid. Electricity retailers pay their eligible customers this feed-in tariff rate for the solar power they export, usually as a credit on their electricity bill.
The Solar Bonus Scheme 44 cent feed-in tariff is closed to new customers. This feed-in tariff is paid by us (the electricity distributor), rather than the electricity retailer. Existing customers on the 44 cent feed-in tariff rate may lose eligibility if they make changes such as:
Increasing the inverter capacity
Changing account details, such as account name or adding an account holder (other than a spouse).
From 1 January 2018, the 14 year deeming period will reduce to 13 years, then by one year each year until January 2030. This will reduce the number of small-scale technology certificates applied to an eligible system.