Will Turnbull Practice What He Has Preached about Solar?

malcolm turnbull and solar panels

Malcolm Turnbull talks the talk but has consistently voted strongly against increasing investment in renewable energy.

The quote above comes from a video of Malcolm Turnbull giving a speech to launch the Beyond Zero Emissions Stationary Energy Plan in Sydney in 2010. The plan was (and still is) a blueprint to affordably go to  100% renewables in Australia within 10 years.

The video is here. The whole 10 mins are worth a watch. The quote above is at 7:55.

Watching the video you can be in no doubt that our new PM passionately believes the climate change is an urgent issue, and that renewables are a big part of the answer.

Unfortunately if you look at Malcolm’s actions, he has consistently voted against supporting the very renewables he professes to support so strongly.

Whist in cabinet he voted to abolish both the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, both of which were set up to help technologies like large scale solar thermal get to commercial scale.

In fact since 2006, out of 7 relevant votes, he voted 6 times against investing in renewable energy.

Bloody two-faced pollies.

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut, dad, and the founder and CEO of SolarQuotes.com.au. I started SolarQuotes in 2009 and the SolarQuotes blog in 2013 with the belief that it’s more important to be truthful and objective than popular. My last "real job" was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division. Since 2009, I’ve helped over 700,000 Aussies get quotes for solar from installers I trust. Read my full bio.


  1. Colin Spencer says

    It doesn’t matter much what Turnbull thinks about Solar. The government is not in the electrical generation business. You have a great product, good prices, and the market place wants it. Solar on individual properties is the best option – no distribution costs on the output. Commercial and domestic are both hot markets for solar.

    • It mattered a great deal Abbott thought about Solar, so it matters equally what Turnbull thinks. Whether the Government is in the business or not makes no difference since they write the rules that those in the business must abide by, and they also direct the future strategy of the entire country – look at the solar rebates for example, without which Australia’s take-up of consumer PV would have been much slower.

      What the PM / Government thinks matters a hell of a lot. It probably matters the most of any of the competing factors.

  2. john nielsen says

    HI Finn,
    The government is very much in the power generation business. Ergon, Energex as well as the largest power generation plant in Queensland is government owned.
    john Nielsen, Silwood.

  3. As a Liberal party minister Turnbull was obliged to vote along party lines or resign his ministry.

    This makes it hard to know how he will act now. As now he largely gets to set the direction of the Liberal party in parliament. I’m not hopeful as he will have to appease the right of his party but maybe he will give Direct Action policies some teeth to work more as Nick Xenophon envisaged.

  4. Synergy and Western Power are both government-owned in WA.

  5. Interesting. Two opposing views. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qf6Sv3A9zs

    Third view:- “Unfortunately if you look at Malcolm’s actions, he has consistently voted against supporting the very renewables he professes to support so strongly.”

    Turnbull may well be in favour of renewable energy and at the same time vote against supporting it with taxpayer’s money.

    You get what you vote (and pay taxes) for.

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