Sep 14, 2006

Australia is witnessing a solar industry eclipse

Australia is witnessing a solar industry eclipse

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

14 September 2006

Solar power is hot property around the world, but it gets the cold shoulder from the Howard Government.

The Howard Government is increasingly isolated on climate change, and is being left behind when it comes to solar power.

Australia is witnessing a solar industry eclipse.

Australia’s fourth richest man, Mr Zhengrong Shi, made his wealth from developing solar energy technology in China. He told The Sunday Telegraph on 27 August that “if Australia had a similar type of incentive program (to China’s), we definitely would have set up a manufacturing facility in Sydney or Australia”.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) industry has grown by 40% globally over the past five years, but only by 16% in Australia over the same period.

In June 2007, the sun will set on the popular Photovoltaic Rebate Program, which is responsible for more than a quarter of Australia’s 25,000 solar panels on rooftops.

Australia could, and should, be the Silicon Valley of solar. The solar technologies currently being developed in Australia could drive real cuts in greenhouse pollution.

Solar thermal technology developed by the CSIRO and solar sliver technology developed at the ANU’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems both show significant potential for addressing base load capacity.

Australia should be strongly supporting new solar energy technology, but we continue to be left behind.

Australia needs a national plan to roll out solar energy and renewable energy.

Labor believes Australia needs to transform our solar sector into a world beating solar industry as big as coal is today.

Labor will ensure Australia’s 10,000 schools are solar schools. Australia should have 1.5 million solar powered homes by 2015 and 2.25 million homes by 2020.

Today, Anthony Albanese spoke to the Australia and New Zealand Solar Energy Society.  Building A World Beating Solar Energy Industry – 14 September 2006