Coalition’s “Battle for Solar” has Made Sector to Make Big Job Cut Backs

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
June 29, 2016

SMH reported that new investment in household and small businesses that installs systems with less than 100-kilowatt capacity has gone down to a seven-year low, with the Coalition policies are to blame as stated by John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council. Mr Grimes also stated that so many of jobs have been lost and so many small businesses have already closed or declared bankruptcy

Mr Grimes also cited a range of policies during the past three years, like the failed bid by the Abbott government to wipe out the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the unfulfilled promise to support 1 million additional solar-powered homes. Even after September’s change leadership to Malcolm Turnbull, the Coalition still has no target, as in target for renewable energy beyond 2020. Mr Grimes also added the Coalition had not given nor provided one supportive policy for the renewable energy industry.

Clean Energy Council solar policy manager Darren Gladman has also attributed the drop of solar installations due to the winding back of generous state schemes. He also noted that the unease among investors over the Abbott government’s treatment of the review of the 2020 renewable Energy Target had also nicked demand for small-scale solar.

According to Kobad Bhavnagari, head of Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Australia stated that the government basically has not helped the rooftop sector. He also added that it was rational to not offer further appropriation to a well-supported sector, which is already economical while ditching the pre-2013 election pledge of 1 million additional solar homes that resulted to a broken pledge by the Coalition.

Under the present renewable energy target, households get a discount in the up-front cost of a new system of about 30%. Based on the Bloomberg NEF data, last year, a common household can expect further savings on their electricity bills to pay off the cost of their systems within 6 years, and further advances in technology can make it in 5 years.

Click here to read the full story on SMH


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