NSW Labor’s Latest Solar Power Pledge – Solar Skills Program

NSW Labor Solar Skills Program

A Labor Government in New South Wales will invest $11 million to train and accredit the thousands of electricians that will be needed for work generated by the party’s Solar Homes Policy.

Earlier this month, NSW Labor leader Michael Daley committed to a rebate of up to $2,200 per instance to support the installation of solar power systems on 500,000 NSW household rooftops over ten years should the party win the upcoming state election.

Then last week, NSW Labor pledged to deliver a total of 7 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity by 2030 – 6 gigawatts through competitive tenders and reverse auctions and 1 gigawatt through the creation of a new State Owned Corporation.

The $11 million Solar Skills program funding announced on Tuesday will be used to train 4,500 electricians that will be required to install and maintain systems under its Solar Homes policy (and I’m assuming in other aspects of its renewables goals).

The party says in total, 13,485 jobs will be created as a direct result of its overall clean energy plan – and many of these jobs will be in regional areas.

“Our commitment to renewable energy will deliver a windfall to regional NSW – homes will have access to cheaper, cleaner power and businesses investing in solar will be able to invest with certainty in NSW,” said NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley. “All that regional NSW has got from this government so far has been a commitment to spend $2.2 billion on Sydney stadiums. Labor can and will deliver much more.”

Well, that’s not quite true and just generally a rather odd statement.

In terms of renewables and in an effort to get the positive attention of small-scale solar supporters, the Berejiklian Government put interest-free loans for solar batteries and solar power + battery systems on the table. In the leadup to the end of last year and early this year, it also pushed through a bunch of approvals on large-scale solar facilities that will collectively create a lot of employment in regional areas; albeit comparatively short-term. These were:

.. but since these approvals and aside from the recent interest-free loan pledge that may not have broad appeal, there doesn’t appear to be anything else in play on the solar front (yet) from the Berejiklian Government.

Solar owners and supporters will have a considerable amount of clout in the March election. More than 459,000 small-scale solar power systems are installed across the state and judging by the activity we see here on SolarQuotes, there are still plenty of NSW residents interesting in installing panels.

Something that either party appears yet to address is anything in relation to feed in tariffs in New South Wales.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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