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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp
Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
The Hon Ian Macfarlane, MP

15 May 2003

Photovoltaic Rebate Program

The Howard Government has announced that the highly successful Photovoltaic Rebate Program (PVRP) will be extended for a further two years through to 2004-2005.

PVRP offers rebates to householders and community organisations that install rooftop and building-integrated photovoltaic (solar electric) systems.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, said $5.7 million would be available for the next financial year, continuing the program's allocation at current levels.

"The Howard Government has renewed its commitment to climate change in the 2003-04 Budget which provides $124m for greenhouse measures such as the PVRP - a $30 million increase on 2002-03 expenditure of about $93m," Dr Kemp said.

Changes to the PVRP have been made to the scheme following discussions with the solar industry and are effective as of today (14 May).

Features of the revamped scheme are:

Dr Kemp said funding for 2003/04 and 2004/05 will be offered under conditions that allow for a greater number of applicants to access the rebates, greater penetration of photovoltaics into the marketplace, and assist in building the solar energy industry.

"The popularity of the scheme forced the Government to cap applications earlier this year and we believe the new arrangements minimise the chances of this occurring again. They will also ensure more people can convert to solar energy by taking advantage of this highly successful program," he said.

Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, said PVRP has been highly successful since it began in January 2000.

"To the end of March 2003, this program had supported the installation of solar systems on 4108 homes, with a combined generating capacity of 4474 kilowatts. That means environmental savings equivalent to some 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year," Mr Macfarlane said.

"The program has also supported the installation of PV systems on dozens of community buildings."

Primary objectives of the PVRP are to reduce greenhouse emissions, assist in the development of the Australian PV industry, and raise public awareness of renewable energy. Before the PVRP was introduced, the market for grid connected PV systems in Australia was extremely limited.

Media Contacts:
Catherine Job: Minister Kemp 02 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Kirsty Boazman: Minister Macfarlane 02 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444

Commonwealth of Australia