Think tank: Solar is Australia’s energy future

The future.Yet another report released this week backing solar energy as the future for Australian energy needs.

The Centre for Policy Development (CPD) released a landmark study (yes how many times have you heard reports described as “landmark”?) which, on the surface, appears to state the bleedin’ obvious points — at least to SolarQuotes readers anyway — about the energy future of Australia.

These are that:

  • The country will be hit hard by rising electricity prices.
  • Solar power is now a very popular form of alternative energy.
  • If passed on by companies, the increased take up of solar power will help reduce electricity prices.

The word “if” is the operative word in the third point. Laura Eadie, the report’s lead author and the Sustainable Economy Research Director at the Centre for Policy Development makes the telling point about vested interests likely to oppose what many see as the inevitable march of solar energy.

“This report shows rooftop solar has a key role to play in Australia’s transition to a clean, affordable and reliable electricity system. Powerful interests will resist that change”, she said in an April 30 press release.

The Going solar: renewing Australia’s electricity options study says that access to solar subsidies are not only desirable for an increase in solar energy but but also supported by the vast majority of Australians. Its recommendations are that governments tailor policies (read subsidies) to suit rooftop solar power users and make available to all Australians.

While these points are hardly new, it is important to understand that it is the manner of the organisation that is making the claims rather than the points made. While the CPD (a think tank associated with the magazine the New Matilda) is hardly a hotbed of extreme right wing thinking, its claims to be an independent think tank seem kosher.

It claims to bring a source of independent and cogent thought and analysis to the political scene with a presumed aim of influencing government policy according to established facts and research. Now there’s an interesting idea! The fact that it appears to back solar power as the future for Australia’s energy needs is also very encouraging.

Sustainability anyone?

If you’ve got a bit of time to sit down and read the report, you can access it from the centre’s website here.

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