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Australia Feed in Tariff

Australia does not have a coherent national policy for subsidizing renewable energy; rather, subsidies have been enacted at the state level. Despite the lack of a coherent national plan, the federal level government in Australia does mandate renewable energy targets. The methods of reaching such targets are open to the states to determine.

General Structure

Despite being implemented on the state level, the various FIT programs all share a number of similarities. Programs are divided between gross and net FIT returns as follows:

  • Gross Fit – A tariff paid for each kilowatt hour of energy produced through renewable means
  • Net Fit – A tariff paid for each kilowatt hour of energy returned to the grid


The Australian system favors smaller, residential installations. Income generated from these systems through the tariffs is not taxable under most circumstances.

Feed in Tariffs by State

Victoria – Photovoltaic installations are limited to 5 kW in size, but other renewable systems are provided up to 100 kilowatts. Any installation consuming less than 100 megawatt hours of electricity per year is credited 60 cents per kilowatt hour returned to the grid, making the Victoria system a net system. Some utilities offer more, with 68 cents being the highest. The program began in 2009 and will continue for 15 years. There is the option to have the credit converted to cash, which pays 25 cents per kilowatt hour returned to the grid.

South Australia – Photovoltaic installations are limited to 30 kW in total, but they are limited to 10 kW per phase of installation. The program began in July 2008 and will continue for 20 years. It is a net model, paying 44 cents in credit and 22 cents in cash.

Australian Capital Territory – The ACT system is a gross system that is somewhat more complex because it provides different FIT rates for installations of different sizes. This is more in line with the German system. Rates are as follows:

  • Up to 30 kW in capacity – 45.7 cents per kWh
  • Installations from 30 kW to 200 kW - ~30 cents

The system has undergone drastic changes in 2011. Microsolar systems (under 30 kW) are no longer eligible for the system, though some utility companies offer their own subsidies on a 1:1 program in which the kilowatts put into the grid receive a cash return equal to what it would have cost to purchase that kilowatt.

Tasmania – Installations are limited to 3 kW on a net system that offers subsidies on a 1:1 basis. Larger systems will be priced on a TBA basis when they make requests.

Northern Territory – There is currently no maximum limitation. This gross system offers a 1:1 cash subsidy that is equal to about 19 cents for residential customers and 22 cents for commercial customers. Time of use commercial customers receive 28 cents for on-peak and 16 cents for off-peak generation.

Western Australia – This net system limits the entire program to 150 MW. Customers can install systems up to 5 kW without consulting the power companies. Anything greater than 5 kW requires consultation and approval from the utility companies. Rates are 20 cents for installations joining after June 30, 2011 (40 cents previously).  The system is to endure 10 years.

Queensland – This net system began in 2008 and will be in place for 20 years. The maximum size is 5 kW and the system pays 44 cents per kWh returned to the grid.

New South Wales – This program is currently closed. When open, the program offered a maximum upper limit of 10 kW and a gross payment of 60 cents per kWh that was reduced to 20 cents after the program was in effect for one year.
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