Strong track record for solar in new paper on best practice regulation

The Clean Energy Council today released a report on best practice regulation of the Australian solar industry and outlined the solar sector’s strong record of safety and quality.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the industry took safety with the utmost seriousness, and was proud of its track record after installing more than 1.3 million solar PV systems right across Australia.

“The solar industry rejects any notion of lax safety standards in the sector, especially those based on isolated accounts that ignore the industry’s strong track record,” Mr Thornton said.

“The current regime of product standards, accreditation, audits and inspections ensure rigorous standards when it comes to safety.

“This robust compliance scheme is overseen by a number of bodies including the Federal Government Clean Energy Regulator, state government electrical bodies, Standards Australia and the Clean Energy Council.

“Like any other electrical product, isolated quality issues will arise from time to time. The industry continues to work with key government, regulatory and industry stakeholders to address these, and ensure the regulation regime continues to be refined and keeps pace with the latest developments in the sector.”

Federal support for solar comes under the Renewable Energy Target, a certificate-based market scheme that is designed to drive the uptake of renewable energy, including rooftop solar. The scheme has been the subject of three government reviews in the past two years, none of which raised any concerns about the safety or quality of solar systems supported by the scheme.

The number of complaints relating to solar systems registered with the Clean Energy Council and the Australian Photovoltaic Institute was also very low, with less than 100 complaints lodged across both organisations over the last 12 months.

“Data from the Clean Energy Regulator showed that replacement solar panels accounted for just 0.125 per cent of all certificates issued through the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme,” Mr Thornton said.

“The Clean Energy Council continues to refine the regulatory approach to the sector, including updating standards that apply to products and installation practices, establishing a panel audit program and helping consumers choose quality products.

“The Clean Energy Council also manages a voluntary industry code of conduct for solar PV retailers and publishes guides on what to look for when buying solar.”

The Clean Energy Council welcomes feedback from interested stakeholders on the ‘Best practice regulation of the Australian solar industry’ paper.

To download the paper, visit www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/policy-advocacy/reports

Source: http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/media-centre/media-releases/february-2015/150227-solar-safety-and-regulation.html#sthash.hleNvSWi.dpuf

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