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Clean Energy Future bill passes amidst praise from solar sector

13th Oct 2011

Yesterday afternoon saw the Gillard government's Clean Energy Future legislation pass through the House of Representatives by a margin of two votes.

In response, the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) has welcomed the move, declaring that it promises great progress for local industry and communities as well as the greater economy.

AuSES chief executive John Grimes says: "AuSES supports actions which foster the generation of renewable energy. Today's result will help Australia transition to a sustainable, low carbon economy.

"AuSES looks forward to continuing to work with the government on new solar projects. The government must also ramp up the complementary measures package including drive towards energy efficiency savings in every walk of life."

Grimes hopes that the legislation will receive a speedy passage through the senate's approval process.

It is believed that the bill will inevitably lead to increased adoption of solar panel systems in homes across the nation, alongside other large-scale renewable energy projects.

The announcement was followed by a media session with treasurer Wayne Swan, who believes that the occasion represents a 'historic' step forward for the nation.

Swan was joined by minister for climate change and energy efficiency Greg Combet who stated his intention to meet with individual state governments to discuss the future of their clean energy initiatives.

When asked if there was any recent progress on this matter, Combet said: "I've been in the process of trying to stabilise those programs and particularly the Solar Credits program that provides support for the installation on domestic household's solar PV panels."

"The guiding principle that the government is committed to is to try and reduce our emissions at least cost. There of course are valid reasons why you would provide support for particular technologies, like solar panels."

Wayne Swan reassured journalists that the Australian renewable energy sector would not see similar turmoil to overseas markets - referring to closures of government-back solar developers in the United State.

A number of challenges still remain for the country's solar sector - including the future of feed-in tariffs in a number of states, including NSW which will not see any progress on its scheme until April.

The series of bills currently being introduced to parliament deal with a range of large policies geared towards building the country's solar infrastructure.

It is hoped that the nation will be able to shift its power generation plants into the renewable technology sector - reducing reliance on pollution-intensive methods such as coal-fired power.

Posted by Bob Dawson - Solar Correspondent

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