Huge Jump in Queensland Commercial Solar Installations

office in QLD with solar

Offices and Factories in QLD are installing solar at an increasing rate.

We’ve documented before the lack of love of the Newman government towards solar energy in Queensland. In the midst of a state election where the shrill rhetoric is matched only by the embarrassing speed of the election call, the level of antipathy has risen as the LNP seek to demolish the arguments of the pro-renewables lobby.

However, despite the LNP’s efforts, it seems an important chunk of their traditional electorate aren’t listening.

The LNP has always counted upon support from small businesses, the farming sector and the more conservative elements of the community. However recent evidence has shown some important support among small business to be evaporating. At least over renewable energy.

As Giles Parkinson points out in his 16th January article, published in RenewEconomy, an extra 7MW of rooftop solar was installed with 156 Queensland businesses switching to commercial solar in the southeast of the state in the last six months. This to offset the massive hike in electricity prices by the power companies.

These small to medium companies are responding to the huge blowout in energy costs by rejecting the Campbell Newman’s anti-renewables rhetoric. You could say they’re voting with their rooftops by making Queensland commercial solar one of the fastest growing segments of the solar industry.

Meanwhile in contrast to the LNP, the Queensland Greens have launched their own energy policy, this spruiking the value of government support for solar energy in Queensland. Australian Greens leader Christine Milne has called for major investment in solar energy in Queensland including the following:

  • $100 million will set aside for solar research.
  • $30 million in low-interest loans to help Queenslanders put solar panels on their roofs.
  • $40 million for grants to provide solar power for social housing and low-income households.

Solar in Queensland, as it has throughout the country, appears on the surface to polarise opinion. This between the well-funded lobbying efforts of the fossil fuel companies and environmental groups. However ordinary Australian households have led the way to a rooftop solar revolution in Australia. Traditionally independent (and even suspicious of governments state and federal) it seems that Australians and now the country’s small businesses want to be part of the renewables revolution.

Electricity networks like Energex and Ergon in Queensland should be (and are) worried as they watch small to medium businesses keen to cash in on the commercial solar revolution reduce their reliance on their gold plated poles and wires. After all with grid parity already here for daytime usage and much cheaper battery storage around the corner, energy companies will need to take a pro-active approach to renewables such as solar to survive.

Comments

  1. Now if we can just get WA to follow.

    Oh and by the way can anyone tell me why we are limited in the size of the solar power we can install?

    dj

    • Hi DJ Baum,

      The networks claim that it is to ‘protect’ the grid from voltage rises and other such things. The reality is that they are trying to use technical reasons – that most folks can’t judge the merit of – to make it harder to install solar because solar directly hurts their profits.

      Hope That Helps,

      Finn

  2. Margaret Hart says

    Thank Goodness people are taking it upon themselves to look after their own interests because Campbell Newman is only looking after his own. I am concerned though if Queenslander’s vote him in again he could change the laws and stop the solar revolution in its tracks, like some American states and cities they are not allowed to install solar panels at all.

    The Liberal party must get a kick back from the power and mining industries to
    have removed the carbon tax and to be so against renewable energy. This great country of ours could run completely on renewable energy.

    I live totally off the grid and we can run any electrical appliance or tool on a 3 kilowatt solar system with battery to store charge and a back up generator which we have had to use once since our solar installation. Go Australia get into solar power and get off the bill merry go round.

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