Does the ACT lead the solar revolution in Australia?

Solar Panels in Canberra

Image: Parliament of Australia website

If you think this column exists solely to bash the often non-existent solar energy policies of certain state governments and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition you’re mostly correct. We’ve often been critical of the myopic policies taken towards solar in both federal and state capitals, a “scorched earth” policy directed by many pollies towards solar energy in particular.

This lack of consistency for big solar investors as well as those wishing to install domestic solar systems is a major cause of the highly damaging “boom and bust” syndrome that has characterised the Australian solar energy sector.

We use the word mostly though because, here at SQHQ, we’re big fans of the go-ahead, positive approach taken to solar power (and renewables in general) by the ACT government. In a territory surrounded by the prevarication, pandering and puerile posturing of federal pollies in the nation’s capital, the ACT Labor government has come up with some of the most forward-thinking policies and support for solar power.

Just late last year the ACT announced the Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) had won a reverse auction to build a 20MW solar power facility, to be named Royalla, in the District of Tuggeranong. See here for more coverage of the announcement.

The ACT pollies added to their reputation for being pro solar in an announcement last week that the latest stage of the energy company ActewAGL’s proposal to build a large-scale solar plant south of Canberra has received state government approval.

According to attorney-general Simon Corbell, environmental clearance had been granted

“…because the detailed studies that have already been undertaken by ActewAGL and also by the fact that the site has received clearances through the Federal Government’s environment protection legislation.”

“If they were to proceed with the proposal, the next stage would be to lodge a development application which would then be publicly notified,” he said.

Which all sounds a lot more positive than the reaction from certain other state governments doesn’t it readers? Almost like the support a government in a progressive German state would give its solar industry.

The ACT is definitely worth keeping an eye on as one of the legislative leaders of the solar revolution in Australia. We’ll report back on solar developments in the Territory as they happen including updates on this latest project. Maybe, just maybe, the ACT progressive stance on solar energy will rub off on both other state governments and the feds prevaricating in the nation’s capital.

But we’re not holding our breath folks.


  1. The federal election approaches. Surely this is a good time to apply some pressure to both major parties to provide encouragement to consumers to invest in solar hot water or solar power? It may mean twisting the arm of the Orwellian state government in NSW – that would be a pleasure to watch,

    Any suggestions?

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