Recap: Who is truly advocating Solar Power?

As election day draws closer, the three different camps are going to be talking about each others policies and how they are trying to keep the best interests of the Australian public in mind. So what are they saying about Solar Power?

If re-elected, the Government says it will offer owners of pre-1995 vehicles a $2,000 rebate for upgrading to more fuel efficient cars. The big concern is, where is that money going to be coming from? Australian Solar Energy Society Chief, John Grimes says that the government will be “taking money away from a 100 per cent emission free electricity generation program and putting it into reducing emissions from cars.” The Greens say they support the idea but not the way it is funded. They say that funding should instead come from fossil fuel subsidies given to big polluters. Considering that the same program didn’t work in the US and Germany creates even bigger debate about whether this is the right move at all.

With the banks appetite for risky investments dried up by the global financial crisis, Senator Milne said “a program of government guarantees to underwrite solar, geothermal and tidal power stations could trigger at least $8 billion in new investment.” The Greens are not asking for all this money to be guaranteed by the government but are proposing that the federal government increase their support for large-scale solar, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy by guaranteeing up to $5 billion in loans to new power stations.

Compared to the Coalitions plan of scraping the currently allocated $650 million dollars earmarked for the renewable energy future fund it seems like the Coalition are not listening to home owners with solar panels seriously enough.

More updates to come as the election unfolds…

Written by Prateek Chourdia

MEngSc – Photovoltaics and Solar Energy, UNSW

Solar Energy Analyst

© 2010 Solar Choice Pty Ltd


“Solar advocates slam Labor’s car rebate program” – ABC News

“Greens call for huge boost to renewable energy funds” – Sydney Morning Herald