Leading authorities meet to build Australian solar future

9th Sep 2011

A number of leading professional and industry stakeholders in the solar industry will meet today (September 9) to discuss key issues concerning the future of solar power in Australia.

The event is being held by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne and will address the road ahead for our renewable energy resources.

According to the CEC: "Although Australia has world-class sunshine, other countries are outshining us when it comes to developing large-scale solar power, one of the major renewable energy technologies of the future."

The event will launch the CEC's 'roadmap' – a plan to develop a "home grown large-scale solar industry" that has been created over six months of liaising with a number of policymakers, developers and financiers.

It is hoped that the roadmap will be acted upon by politicians who take the recommendations into consideration when developing national and state policies.

CEC intends to use examples of solar success from around the world as case studies in the building of the Australian renewable energy sector.

Federal energy and resources minister Martin Ferguson will speak, as well as other leading authorities from the CSIRO, Bloomberg Clean Energy Finance and the Australian Solar Institute.

CEC says: "The event will look at international solar trends, local solar opportunities, barriers to development and the potential for Australia to attract major investment from both within the country and overseas."

The Clean Energy Council is the country's peak organisation for the renewable energy sector, representing over 500 companies across a wide range of technologies, including solar, wind and bioenergy.

Timely comments from Queensland energy minister Stephen Robertson – as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald – have highlighted the need for state policymakers to act quickly on the future of their individual solar programs.

Speaking at the Ecogen renewable energy conference in Brisbane earlier this week, the minister was critical of other Australian states.

Robertson said: "In my view, any government that doesn’t see exactly the choices that their constituents in fact want to make in accessing cleaner power is indeed somewhat foolish and shortsighted."

The minister says that he intends for Queensland policy to continue to support the appetite of consumers for solar power systems through lucrative initiatives.

Robertson believes that a lack of government incentives – such as the Solar Credits Schemes and feed-in tariffs – will cause "dislocation amongst a somewhat new and still vulnerable part of the economy".

Bob Dawson – News Editor

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