"Rooftop revolution" underway across Australia5th Jul 2013
Consumers are lapping up rooftop solar power, but politicians are throwing a spanner in the works.
Or so says 100% Renewable Energy, a community campaign for clean energy, which claimed the future of energy is "at a crossroads" in the country.
National director of the group Lindsay Soutar said many sustainable technologies, especially solar panel systems, are being embraced by the general public.
She stated: "We are seeing a rooftop revolution across Australia, with 2.5 million people living under a solar roof and $8 billion invested by ordinary Australians in rooftop solar.
"Solar power prices are cheaper than ever before, and renewable energy is really starting to cut into the profits of the big energy generators."
However, politicians remain the fly in the ointment, with political support shaky at best for greener energy, despite poll after poll showing voters back renewables.
Soutar argued that many politicians are being sucked in by the misinformation spread by coal and gas interests, who are battling hard to ensure energy distribution remains in their control.
Earlier this year, she criticised the Coalition for suggesting another review of the Renewable Energy Target just three months after the previous evaluation was completed.
"Never before have we faced such an exciting time in energy. But it’s an uncertain time, as well," she explained.
"We now have range of policies driving rapid uptake of wind and solar and people are starting to wake up to the fact that we have to leave coal in the ground."
To this end, 100% Renewable Energy has developed an electorate-by-electorate solar energy resource, which the group has mailed to every federal politician in Australia.
These Solar Revolution 'briefers' provide data on the number of homes with solar power in each electorate, how much money constituents are spending on solar, and savings on energy bills/CO2 emissions.
The organisation has also released an online scorecard that ranks politicians on how effective they are at spruiking the benefits of sustainable energy, including solar power.
Soutar claims the aim is to raise awareness and show politicians that Australians are behind solar power and want to have a bigger say in energy discourse.
According to 100% Renewable Energy, solar power in millions more homes is now "inevitable", but the process can be quickened by having the country's ministers understand the true value of Australia's natural resources.
Posted by Mike Peacock