Media - Solar Citizens

Media Releases

WILL AUSTRALIA CASH IN OR MISS OUT ON THE GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY BOOM?

A new report released by the Climate Council today reveals the world is in the middle of a dramatic renewable energy boom, with clean energy investment growing 43% since 2009 worldwide.

Solar Citizens Campaigns Director Dan Scaysbrook said Australia has some of the best solar resources in the world and government should be investing in making the transition to renewables.

“The fast-growing renewable energy industry is living up to its potential as a worldwide jobs growth powerhouse,” he said.

“This new report shows more than 160 countries have put in place targets to grow their renewable power.

“Australia may miss out if we don’t act now to lift our renewable energy ambition. A goal of at least 50 per cent renewables by 2030 would not only slash electricity costs, but would help create 20,000 jobs in the next 15 years.

“Growing solar and renewables would allow Australia to access jobs, innovation, future industries.

“If the Turnbull Government is serious about making job creation and innovation their top priority then they need to look no further than solar and renewables.

“The upcoming Paris climate talks are an ideal opportunity for the Prime Minister to show it will listen to the community and put jobs in solar and renewables first.

“There’s a bright future ahead for renewables, Australia deserves a leading part in it,” he said.

Media contact: Siobhan Lyttle 0432 828 004

Queensland solar homes want rapid uptake of batteries to power homes for longer: new survey

Home battery storage is set to revolutionise the way homes and cars get their energy, and Queensland’s solar homeowners want their state to lead the charge.

A survey released today of nearly 700 solar owners in Queensland found 92% of people want the State Government to introduce a support program to kick start the battery storage industry in the state.

Queensland solar homeowners also want to see:
- a fair feed-in price for solar generated on their rooftops exported to the grid and
- an end to the increasing network charges that help make Australian electricity bills amongst the highest in the world.

Solar Citizens Consumer Campaigner Reece Turner said solar homeowners see solar batteries, coupled with rooftop PV, as an exciting opportunity to generate clean power and save on bills -- it is time Government did the same.

“The Queensland survey confirms the thinking of global companies like Tesla and Panasonic that there is a huge demand for connecting solar panels with home batteries for power storage,” Mr Turner said today.

“There are more than 1.4 million homes that have installed rooftop solar to help with the cost of living and there are positive predictions that as prices fall, they will be a key market for solar storage.

“A recent Climate Council Report predicts Australia's installed battery capacity will grow 50-fold within 10 years, with half of all households to have battery storage, and many using their solar arrays to charge their electric vehicles.

“Solar Citizens is calling on the Queensland Government to support this bright future with policy that encourages the take-up of household batteries to complement the Sunshine State's leading position as Australia's solar rooftop leader.

“The Palaszczuk Government has already committed to 1 million solar rooftops in QLD by 2020. It would be incredible if they could match this with support for every one of those homes to invest in home battery storage as well.

“By using clean energy from the wind and sun, we can create healthy cities and towns, good jobs and smart investments - and a happy surprise when we open our power bills,” Mr Turner said.

View survey results and methodology here: https://drive.google.com/a/solarcitizens.org.au/file/d/0B9kNVP3oyB-ceGJPN25CeGl1R3c/view?usp=sharing

Media contact: Siobhan Lyttle 0432 828 004

NSW GOVERNMENT MUST LEGISLATE TO PREVENT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SOLAR HOMEOWNERS

The NSW Government should rule out any plan by the State Government-owned electricity networks for a new charge on solar homes, according to Solar Citizens.

Following a Channel 7 news story last night, the networks claim they will move away from a proposed ‘sun tax’ but legislation would give solar homeowners greater certainty, said Reece Turner, Consumer Campaigner at Solar Citizens.

“The NSW Premier Mike Baird should act swiftly to legislate against networks imposing fees that discriminate against solar households,” he said

“The Baird Government has often claimed it wants to make NSW ”Australia’s answer to California when it comes to clean energy’ but this kind of tax on the sun will send us back to the dark ages.

“More than 319,000 households in NSW have taken the very sensible decision to invest in solar power, allowing them to take control of escalating electricity bills, generate clean energy and reduce demand on the electricity grid. The top 10 postcodes for solar installations in NSW are all in regional areas with lower than average income.

“They should not be penalised with an additional charge by the networks who have failed to plan for the rising popularity of rooftop solar.

“Across Australia electricity networks are increasingly targeting solar owners as a way to claw back profits from households who have decided to take rising electricity costs in their own hands. The privatised South Australian network monopoly SA Power Networks has pushed for an additional $100 fee for solar owners.

“The Baird Government should ensure the state’s solar homes are supported, not taxed,” he said.

Media contact: Siobhan Lyttle 0432 828 004

ACT powers ahead towards 100% renewable energy by 2020

Solar Citizens has welcomed the ACT Government’s commitment to solar and renewables after a report was tabled advising they are closing in on their greenhouse gas emissions goals for 2020.

Solar Citizens Campaigns Director, Dan Scaysbrook, said the ACT achievement demonstrated the benefits of increasing opportunities for rooftop solar which helps households reduce their power bills.

“More than 16,000 ACT households have transformed their homes into renewable energy powerhouses. They generate close to 45MW of clean energy while saving money.

“The Turnbull Government should look closely at what’s been achieved in the ACT and follow its lead by setting an ambitious national goal for renewable energy.

“We can and should do more as a nation to grow renewables and solar. The ACT is leading the way with a 100% renewables target by 2025 and there have been several days when renewables have met all electricity demand in South Australia.

“Recent polling by Essential Research shows that 71% of Australians want more emphasis on solar power, not less.

“Australians want to embrace a bright future for renewable energy and be part of the solar revolution. It’s about time political leaders across the board delivered on this vision,” he said.

Media contact: Siobhan Lyttle 0432 828 004

Greens ambition set with 90% renewables by 2030

Solar Citizens welcomes the Greens’ announcement this morning of the RenewAustralia plan for transitioning the economy to renewable energy, including a goal of 90% renewables by 2030.

Solar Citizens Campaigns Director, Dan Scaysbrook said the Greens’ commitment to a strong renewables goal and a new $500 million investment in clean energy projects would be welcomed by the overwhelming majority of Australians who want to see more solar and renewables, not less.

“In the run-up to the Paris climate talks, the Greens have shifted the conversation on renewable energy in Australia. This new, ambitious plan would kick-start investment in renewable energy, unlock economic potential and generate thousands of jobs,” he said.

“We can and should do more as a nation to grown renewables and solar. The ACT is leading the way with a 100% renewables target by 2025 and there have been several days when renewables have met all electricity demand in South Australia.

“The transition of our energy system is inevitable, the question is whether our political leaders will support the fast-track of renewables for a better future.

“We need all our politicians on board with orderly plans to manage this shift so people can take control of power bills and no Australian gets left behind as the transition gathers speed.

“Clean energy including solar will power our homes, towns and cities so the air and water is cleaner and the future is a healthy one for all of us, especially our kids,” he said.

Media contact: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533

WA SOLAR HOUSEHOLDS ENERGISED BY GREEN LIGHT TO EXPORT BATTERY POWER TO GRID

Solar Citizens has welcomed the Western Australian Government announcement today that battery storage and electric vehicle systems can export surplus electricity to the mains grid from December 1 this year.

The entry of new players into the local market will push the development of home and vehicle solar battery storage and the new law will help revolutionise the way West Australians use energy.

 

Community groups support attempt to stop electricity price gouging in South Australia

The Total Environment Centre, supported by Solar Citizens, will today apply to the Federal Court to support the defence of a ruling by the Australian Energy Regulator to stop South Australian Power Networks gouging solar rooftop owners.

“Earlier this year SA Power Networks applied to bring in a new tariff for solar households which would have cost them an average of $100 per year. This was sensibly rejected by the regulator”, said Mark Byrne, energy market advocate at the Total Environment Centre.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA POWERS AHEAD WITH 100% LOW CARBON POWER GOAL

Solar Citizens has welcomed the South Australian Government’s announcement today of a goal to power the state government by 100% “low carbon electricity”.

National Director Claire O’Rourke said Premier Jay Wetherill had acted ahead of upcoming Paris climate talks to seize the huge opportunity provided by renewable energy to grow jobs, promote innovation and help make a better future for our children. 

GEORGE CHRISTENSEN FAILS TO STAND UP FOR SOLAR: LOCAL RESIDENTS DISMAYED

Local residents in the seat of Dawson are disappointed that local member George Christensen refused to take the Stand Up For Solar pledge in a meeting on Friday.

Solar Citizens members met with Mr Christensen to talk to him about how solar was reducing their power bills and asked him for a commitment to:
a national goal of at least 50% renewable energy by 2030;
a fair go for solar owners, including a fair feed-in tariff, no discriminatory fees and a specialist solar ombudsman; and
a national program to help low-income households and renters with soaring power bills to go solar.

UNFAIR HIKE IN NETWORK CHARGES HITS QLD SOLAR HOMEOWNERS

An ABC Radio National investigation[1] yesterday confirmed what many Queensland solar households have experienced first-hand - ‘network charges’ on Australian electricity bills are among the highest in the world.

Solar households across Queensland reported shock as they opened their electricity bills from July 1 and found out they had been slugged up to $428 per year for ‘fixed’ electricity network charges.