Australian solar lobby group Solar Citizens is calling for a higher renewable energy target and a fair price for solar, through the launch of a new year-long campaign that will target state and federal politicians.
The campaign, Stand up for Solar, advocates a national goal of at least 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, as well as a “fair” feed-in tariff for rooftop solar power fed back into the grid.
Solar Citizens is also calling for an end to discriminatory fees to solar households, a national program to help low-income households and renters switch to solar, and the appointment of a specialist “solar ombudsman” to protect consumers’ rights.
The group says the measures would help millions of families go solar, create tens of thousands of jobs and ensure billions in investment for our sunny country.
“People are sick of solar and renewable energy being used as a political football,” said Claire O’Rourke, Solar Citizens national director.
“The issue is being mired in quicksand and we need to get it out of there.”
Solar is currently on more than 1.3 million household rooftops across Australia, with some states experiencing a penetration rate of around 25 per cent of available housing.
However, tariffs for solar exports have been cut drastically, and in states such as NSW and south-east Queensland are entirely voluntary.
The new Queensland Labor government has asked the pricing regulatory to review the tariffs, calling on it to factor solar’s benefits rather than just perceived negatives.
O’Rourke said her group had met with an estimated one-third of federal MPs, across all lines of politics.
“We’ve yet to meet a politician that doesn’t like the idea of solar,” she says.
“But some politicians feel bound by party positions. We need to help them advocate more ambitious solar and renewable policy goals.”
Top image by Yang Guo
© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd