Aussies 'taking full advantage of solar power'

4th Sep 2012

The increasing popularity of solar power systems shows Aussies are finally beginning to realise that the country's largest natural resources can't be dug out of the ground.

Or so says Jon Dee, founder of campaign group Do Something, who talked to the Courier-Mail about how rapidly Australians are starting to see the benefits of the sun.

Jon's organisation is a not-for-profit operation that tries to initiate social change through a number of initiatives aimed at linking businesses, the public and government agencies – and he's keen to promote energy efficiency as an important environmental issue.

So what has it taken for the country's residents to sit up and take notice? According to Jon, it's their wallets.

"With consumers there are two issues," he explained. "One: the price has come down dramatically so it's now within reach. Two: people want to bring their electricity bills under control."

Solar panel prices are down 80 per cent in the last 18 months, he continued, making the technology an even more affordable option than before.

The Courier-Mail highlighted figures from the Clean Energy Regulator that revealed 392,500 solar systems were put in Aussie homes in 2011.

This figure allowed the country to pull off an unlikely victory in the rankings for most installations completed worldwide – heavy favourites Japan and Germany having to settle for runners-up positions.

SolarBuzz, an industry analyst firm, also recently claimed solar PV demand in the Asia-Pacific could outstrip European numbers by the end of the year, with a surge in interest expected over the last six months.

And Jon thinks government subsidies and ever-increasing electricity costs have had a hand in Australia achieving this.

More and more people are realising that generating their own power is a win/win situation, he commented, especially as it isn't possible for the government to tax the sun!

Posted by Mike Peacock

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