Little Opportunity for Big Solar

22 July 2010

John Grimes, CEO
Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES)

The Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) was hoping today’s election announcement by Prime Minister Gillard on climate change would contain a roadmap for making big solar in Australia a reality. Australia has an unprecedented opportunity to build a big solar future, as we have the world’s best solar resource, solar availability closely meets energy demand, and big solar can provide 24 hour energy availability through energy storage and dispatch.

“This announcement was a lost opportunity to outline policies to pull through the investment needed to exploit our fantastic solar resource,” said John Grimes the CEO AuSES. “While $100m a year for ten years to connect new renewable energy projects to the grid already announced in the May budget is a good start, the announcement does nothing to drive those new projects to be developed. Funding for renewable energy infrastructure should come from broader infrastructure funds rather than scarce renewable energy funds.” “The Prime Minister said there have been 52 big solar projects proposals, but only 2 will be successful. Instead of making future dirty coal fired power stations carbon capture and storage ‘ready’, we should be making the other 50 big solar projects a reality”. “AuSES calls on the parties to commit to a target for big solar of 5% of energy production by 2020, supported by loan guarantees and a big solar feed in tariff to the most competitive projects that can help us meet the target.”

The Australian public constantly support solar as the number one climate change solution. The technology is ready, the resource is abundant, clean and free, and the public want to see a solar powered Australia. “Clean energy investment and clean energy jobs could be created overnight with the right policy settings”.

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