Glenn Lazarus and Palmer United stand for solar - Solar Citizens

Glenn Lazarus and Palmer United stand for solar

Close to 500 solar businesses representing 3,700 employees signed a letter calling on the Federal Government to back jobs and investment in the solar industry by maintaining the Renewable Energy Target.

The joint industry letter, coordinated by Solar Citizens and the Australian Solar Council and signed by 470 businesses, was accepted by Palmer United Party Senate Leader Senator Glenn Lazarus at Parliament House on Thursday.

Here's what Senator Lazarus had to say:

Thank you to Solar Citizens, the Australian Solar Council and the businesses involved in this wonderful thank you letter for your support.

Australia, and indeed the world, must continue to invest in and progress our use of cleaner renewable energy. Our planet is relying on us as we expand as a race to find more sustainable ways of powering our needs. Our future depends on this.

The Renewable Energy Target is a critical factor in supporting, driving and achieving this outcome.

Since the implementation of Australia’s renewable energy target of 20 /20 – requiring 20% of our energy to be sourced from renewable sources by the year 2020 – the renewable energy sector has become a significant industry in Australia – generating jobs, investment and business growth.

Many small to medium size businesses across Australia now rely on the Renewable Energy Target to ensure a future for themselves, their families, their staff, their suppliers and their thriving industry generally. 

In 2013, over 18,000 Australians were employed in the the solar industry across 4,000 small to big solar businesses. These are local jobs that are all across the country including in remote and regional areas.

Based on these statistics alone, there is no doubt, the Renewable Energy Target has helped to drive jobs and investment across Australia. 

The Palmer United Party would like the Abbott Government to honour its election promise to retain the Renewable Energy Target at its current level.

Clearly the Renewable Energy Target is working.

If the Renewable Energy Target is to be changed, this should only happen in response to the will of the people – not climate change sceptics.

I believe, the Warburton review has failed to make a case to cut the Renewable Energy Target.It has acknowledged that prices have not increased because of the target.

Over 3.5 million Australians have solar on their roof and that number is growing. That’s over 1.2 million homes powered by the sun.

In my home state of Queensland, where solar has been enthusiastically embraced, Queensland now leads the world in the uptake of household solar – with nearly 400,000 homes, together generating 1.1 giga watts of power. This makes Queensland rooftops the fourth largest power station in the state.

Many people who have embraced solar, are from lower or middle income households, young families, retirees – people with a decent roof space but worried about their electricity bills.

Clearly the Renewable Energy Target is good for the renewable energy sector, it is good for our economy, it is good for our environment – but most importantly is good for all Australians – because Australians understand the importance of taking care of our planet and want cheaper, greener and more sustainable energy.

The renewable energy target is a real, tangible way for Australia to meet the needs of our people.

The Palmer United Party will block any attempt by the Government to remove or reduce the Renewable Energy Target. This is our commitment to the people of Australia and we will do everything within our power to ensure the target is retained.