When the sun shines at its brightest, many of Australia’s 1.3 million homes with rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar panelsgenerate more electricity than they use. When this happens, excess electricity is exported to the grid.
In the old days (say, about 2009), most householders would be pretty happy with this, given that in Victoria, for example, it would have earned them up to 60 cents per kilowatt hour exported.
But these premium feed-in tariffs have now been slashed to as low as 6 cents or less. Meanwhile, householders might pay 30 cents per kilowatt hour or more to buy electricity from the grid when their solar panels are dormant in the evening.