The Victorian solar industry and supporters are the latest to suffer what is becoming an event as predictable as Gerry Harvey whinging about online retailers at Christmas time. This was when Premier Ted “The Blade” Baillieu’s government announced a slashing of the state’s feed-in tariff from 25 cents per kilowatt hour down to 8 cents.
However despite being hammered left, right and centre by newly-installed conservative governments across the nation, solar energy in this country has always enjoyed massive support from ordinary folk.
So why don’t the pollies (like video refs) see the game the same as the punters?
Perhaps it’s because the average Joe or Joanne can see the wide range of benefits of solar power over the destructive use of fossil fuels compared to the blind Freddys in Canberra and the state capitals who apparently see otherwise? Or maybe because said ordinary folk aren’t beholden to Big Coal and Oil and just want a sustainable future for one the sunniest countries in the world?
Whatever the reason the latest manifestation of this grass roots support is taking place over the next two weeks. Known as “Walk for Solar” the organisers of the march are seeking to make Port Augusta solar a national issue and gain support from federal and state pollies. The overarching aim is to convert the former coal-fired site into a renewable solar powered energy hub, replacing two of Australia’s oldest coal plants, Playford B and Northern, with solar and wind power. This in preference to a change to using a dirty gas plant for energy.
Here’s the key quote from the website:
“The power company, the local council, local community and businesses all want solar – but to make this happen we need the support of the Premier and the Federal Government. We need to make Port Augusta a national issue.”
The organisers intend the message of support for solar power will travel:
“…300km all the way from Port Augusta to Premier Weatherill’s door in Adelaide. Together we’ll shine the national spotlight on the opportunity for solar thermal and make it a national moment the country can’t ignore.”
We at SolarQuotes HQ think the “Walk for Solar” is a great idea. Our only advice is to take a hat and sunscreen for protection against that ahem…Aussie sun. You can read more about the movement’s aims and sign the petition here.