Solar power systems: Government's vision of clean energy future12th Jul 2011
More details of the government's clean energy plan have been released featuring a large emphasis on solar power.
The plan addresses the issue of renewable energy generation on two main fronts. The first is $13.4 billion allocated to research, development and manufacturing in the fields of clean energy technology.
The second aims to educate average Australians on the benefits of installing systems in their homes and businesses.
The largest component is the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, with $10 billion for investments in businesses proposing innovative technology developments and those existing businesses willing to shift their focus to meeting Australia's clean energy needs.
$3.2 billion will be allocated to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to continue existing research and development grants with the intention to bring them to onto the market.
A further $200 million in grants will be administered by the Clean Technology Innovation Program to companies developing energy-saving technologies, including solar panels.
The announcements demonstrate the government's new outlook towards research and development and a commitment to being a world leader in future clean energy technology.
Coinciding with these, the minister for climate change and energy efficiency outlined how the government aims to help Australians embrace clean energy technology.
The series of initiatives are designed to inform, educate and assist the public in reducing their environmental footprint by helping the implementation of clean energy technology in their everyday lives.
The first of these is an expansion of the Living Greener website that gives the public readily accessible advice on how they can save on energy costs, reduce consumption and develop environmentally-friendly habits.
The site contains information on all available solar power rebates in individual states, giving consumers real incentives to harness the natural power of the sun.
Also included is a wealth of information on everyday solutions for saving water, reducing waste and eco-friendly travel solutions.
The government has pledged a further $40 million over the next four years to a new grants scheme available to non-government organisations and industry associations for the purpose of encouraging energy efficient alternatives within the community.
The grants are targeted at small business owners and community groups, giving them the necessary know-how to make real, sustainable changes.
The Low Carbon Communities program is set to expand from $80 million to $330 million that focuses on reducing the carbon footprint of local council, community and low-income housing buildings.
More measures are expected be announced over the coming months as the government commits to decreasing overall carbon emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2020.