The Queensland election and solar energy

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Will queenslanders vote in a more solar friendly premier?

January traditionally sees Australians go on holidays, enjoy food and drink (and a bit of sport) and generally relax and get away from it all for a few weeks. The last thing on their minds is politics and worse, being dragged to the polling place when they should be having their well-deserved break.

However there’s grumblings up north. This is because one of the most unpopular (and coincidentally anti-solar) state governments has called a snap election to limit expected electoral damage further down the track. We’re talking of the Queensland Newman government who are committing the crime of dragging Queenslanders away from the beach and caravan.

Rumours persist that “No Can Do” Newman was about to be ditched as leader of his party and called the election early to save his own skin. However as this information appears to come from a colourful Queenslander mining identity with an agenda and publicity machine to match his girth — a man who has effectively bought his own political party — this cannot be confirmed.

We’ll call this gentleman Clive X to protect his identity shall we?

Back to the Queensland election and solar energy. The poll has been described as one of the most important for solar energy in Australia. Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes doesn’t hold back saying the outcome will be critical for the future of solar in the energy mix of this country.

He claims with some merit that the Queensland government has acted as a kind of spear carrier for the anti-solar policies of the federal government. The Abbott government’s anti-renewables drive has had it origins in the hardline efforts of state governments like that of Queensland, claims Mr Grimes.

“Campbell Newman has been the most anti-solar Premier in Australia’s history, writing the playbook for Tony Abbott’s assault on solar and renewable energy. The Newman Government has systematically shut down all clean energy and climate change programs and bungled the phase-down of the Solar Bonus Scheme,” said Mr Grimes in a statement released to the press.

“There have been no big solar or large-scale renewable energy projects in Queensland under Newman’s Government, while the rest of the world goes in the other direction,” he added.

So important does the ASC consider this election, that it is looking to raise more funds for its Save Solar campaign. To find out more about the Save Solar campaign see the ASC website here.

What do you think of the Newman government decision to hold a snap poll? More importantly what are the likely ramifications of the Queensland election and solar energy? We’d like to hear your views. Is this a vital poll for the future of solar in this country? Or will solar energy inevitably grow across the nation regardless of the outcome of the January 31 election as more and more Aussie households realise the benefits?

Comments

  1. So many wild statements in this post. Firstly, 31st January is the poll date. If you are still on holidays on that date, I wouldn’t mind working where you do.
    Secondly, you overstate your objection to the removal of taxpayer funding for solar, both in system subsidies, and in heavily subsidised feed-back tariffs. Everyone knows that the massive handouts for solar could not go on indefinitely. Those imaginative subsidies on systems and feedback tariffs were a huge lolly-scramble for governments seeking electoral popularity, but anyone with half a mind must know that it can’t continue. The amount of money needed is just not available.

    One unforeseen benefit from the political largesse of government hand-outs has been a massive drop in the cost of installed systems. Clearly the solar industry does not need those subsidies in order to do business today. The solar industry in Australia now needs to get into marketing systems by selling the benefits. Government hand-outs are gone, as they should be.

  2. YesMinister says

    Noddy (or rather his goon squad) has two chances of getting my vote, neither of which will improve his chances one iota. My ancestry going back some 800 years has been 100% conservative although it must be said that the incumbent rabble at all levels of government is anything but ‘conservative’ but more like fascist. I would have seriously considered supporting Clive X but thats not on because he doesn’t have a candidate in my electorate. The fascist candidate is, and always been utterly hopeless (we call her the Village idiot), the ALP one seems halfway reasonable given she’s an aspiring politician however I have a problem with female politicians with very young families, and the Greens one is not in contention because I simply will not back their favourite policies (which have stuff-all to do with the ecosystem). I’ve long argued for a ‘none of the above’ option on voting papers as that would provide a truer indication of where the majority are with regard to the pitiful options with which we are lumbered.

  3. Hi, Campbell Newman (CM) doesn’t want solar power because the state owns all the generation and distribution (Ergon, Energex etc.) and they have a 20% surplus generation because of people installing solar. CM and the gang are loosing revenue whilst they continue to have the same expenses,,, i.e. they have to increase the kwh rates,,, this in particular hurts people in rented houses and units as they are not going to have solar. CM is not helping Abbott,,, that is not correct. Abbott want to have solar thus the STC (credit, bonus) and that is in order to reach the 5% reduction promised by 2020 and the reason for scrapping the carbon tax. Anyone considering solar, get a specified invoice/quote. There is a lot of crooks in this business as there were in the pink bat scheme.
    john Nielsen, silkwood, qld.

  4. “Will Queenslanders vote in a more solar friendly premier?” – an interesting way of asking the question. From the current numbers it would seem the party in government won’t change but the premier might – unless they are obnoxious enough to run a by-election in a safe seat!!
    @YesMinister might yet get a non-Newman conservative government after all 🙂

  5. Thanks folks for the interesting perspectives. John A I think the solar industry would be very happy if ALL subsidies, including the massive subsidies and tax breaks on fossil fuels were removed. Not sure that the boardrooms of the big coal, oil companies would agree though!

  6. wake up dozies. If you believe the inevitability of solar and renewables and being independent of the grid, you would imagine that trying to sell an outmoded model of generating power is a hard sell. In order to make the sale you need to persuade some cashed up super or hedge fund of the value of the investment. Giving solar a hard time is one way of driving up the value of what you are trying to sell. Unfortunately our opposition who don’t have a clue, want to hang onto a business model that will only go down in value and become more expensive to run each year. (though it should be getting cheaper at to run at the moment with the lower coal prices)

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