All solar fans’ eyes were turned to the budget this week as Treasurer Wayne “The Knife” Swan brought down his sixth budget (gee doesn’t time fly Swanny?). So how did solar energy (and renewables in general) fare in the Budget? Did we do OK ? Or was it a case of solar energy being once again the target as cuts are made? [Read more...]
As the Federal Budget approaches, renewable energy supporters — including solar power fans — tend to get a bit twitchy. You know the deal folks, Julia “The Ranga Boss Lady” Gillard tells Wayne “The Knife” Swan that we’re not getting enough revenue from the carbon tax and to go find some more.
The Knife then goes through the options: Tax polluters more? Pop round Gina “The Big G” place with the hat asking for more shekels Oliver Twist-style? Try another, fairer, mining tax? [Read more...]
The Centre for Policy Development (CPD) released a landmark study (yes how many times have you heard reports described as “landmark”?) which, on the surface, appears to state the bleedin’ obvious points — at least to SolarQuotes readers anyway — about the energy future of Australia.
photo credit: flickr - kateausburn
Unless you’ve been living a hermit’s existence with no access to news outlets, the Internet or NSW premier Barry “Bumper” O’Farrell’s rants you’ll have heard the constant chorus “Frack Off!” being directed at the (not-so-green) gas industry led by AGL. The choice insult refers of course to the gas industry’s latest controversial method of extracting gas by fracturing deeply buried rock using a pressurised fluid. [Read more...]
As the country is dragged reluctantly — like a kid from a lolly shop — into election mode following the Prime Minister’s Jan. 30 early announcement, it is instructive to see where the mainstream media turned much of its attention. To which party is best suited to handle the economy? The environment? Climate change? Energy policy? No. Much of the media’s focus has been on the significance of the PM’s new glasses.
Will the new glasses signify a new 20/20 “vision splendid” for the nation’s energy policy? A policy of engaging with renewables (particularly solar power)? Or do they signify a myopic energy policy dedicated to continuing support of fossil fuel subsidies? [Read more...]
As I sit here writing this week’s rant, we are (it seems) in the middle of one of the worst heatwaves ever to strike the continent. Characterised by indecently high temperatures, bushfires and breathless “on the spot” news reporters, the harsh weather is crossing the land from west to east, north to south. [Read more...]
What’s the one factor that most solar fans will ask from our elected representatives as we cast our eyes towards 2013? The answer of course will vary according according to circumstances. Some may ask for more focus on other forms of large scale solar power such as concentrated solar power, others may call for increased investment in solar research and development. Still more may call for an expansion of present solar programs; you know the ones that always seem to be under the threat of cutbacks. [Read more...]
Regular readers of this column may have noticed that we haven’t always been that kind to Martin “Fossil Fuel” Ferguson, our Minister for Resources. And we haven’t been alone in mercilessly pointing to the Minister for Resources’ predilection for fossil fuels, his apparent unwillingness to listen to new ideas and his brushing aside of renewable energy such as solar power in favour of vested fossil fuel interests. [Read more...]
Nigel Morris of Solar Business Services has described current renewable industry regulations as being like a “dog’s breakfast”. And while his comments may not come as a surprise to many solar power insiders, the fact that he admitted feeling sympathy for utilities networks just might. [Read more...]
There’s a false perception in Australia — perpetrated in part by the anti-solar brigade and their fellow travellers — that the only people who invest in domestic solar systems are those who are rich. According to this theory it is only those in the more affluent parts of Australia that have the resources to afford solar panels. Working and lower middle class families apparently don’t have them on their roofs because they are out of their price range. [Read more...]