Media - Solar Citizens

Media Releases

Solar Citizens welcome Mike Nahan’s back down from attacks on solar households

What: Several solar homeowners will deliver a letter and petition to Minister Nahan’s office to demand he protect solar homeowners

When: 11th May 2015
Where: Dumas House
Time: 2:45pm

Solar Citizens have welcomed reports that WA Treasurer Mike Nahan has backed down from introducing discriminatory price rises for solar home owners in this week’s State Budget. However they are calling on the Barnett Government to go much further to protect and grow solar in WA.

Following the news Perth residents will today deliver a letter and petition to Minister Nahan’s office to demand he go further and protect solar homeowners.

“Reports that Treasurer Nahan has backflipped on plans to force solar homes to pay increased fixed fees is good news, and show that he is listening to Western Australians who want to see more solar power, not less,” said Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke.

“More than 3000 Western Australians signed a petition to Treasurer Nahan to voice their concerns about him unfairly blaming the state’s solar households for rising energy prices, so it is good to see this response.”

“However, reports that the Barnett Government plan to allow electricity companies to decide what to charge solar homes in the future is extremely concerning and shows they are still in the dark ages with their approach to solar power.”

“Allowing power companies to increase fees would be incredibly unfair for solar homeowners. It will be hard for individual households to get a fair deal from their power company.

“There are close to 175,000 homes with rooftop solar power installed in Western Australia - the proposed charges were a blatant attempt to raise revenue from the very people who have made the sensible choice to reduce their electricity demand.”

“Australians are crying out for more ambition on solar power and renewable energy.”

“Solar Citizens new campaign ‘Stand Up For Solar’ is a refreshing plan to see a national goal of at least 50% solar and renewable electricity generation by 2030, an end to unfair fees for solar owners and to help all Australians with the rising cost of electricity bills,”

“Will Energy Minister Mike Nahan and the WA Government show they support solar households and commit to our plan?”

“Minister Nahan should use this opportunity to help protect and grow solar in WA and not wage attacks on families who are trying to lower their power bills,” said Ms O’Rourke

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

ACT LEADS CHARGE WITH NEXT STAGE OF LARGE SCALE SOLAR PROJECT

Solar Citizens has welcomed the ACT Government’s call today for Expressions of Interest to build a 50-megawatt solar farm in the capital region.

The ACT has become a national leader by setting an ambitious target of 90 per cent of energy coming from renewable energy by 2020.

Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke said federal and state leaders should follow the shining example set by the ACT and lift their support for large-scale solar and other renewable energy projects.

“The ACT Government has today shown faith in the benefits of joining the global move toward solar power rather than playing politics to attack renewables,” she said.

“It’s great to see leadership with sensible, long-term plans for making our energy generation cheaper and cleaner with renewable sources.

“ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell is also engaging his fellow ministers from seven different jurisdictions to bypass toxic national policies and boost renewables uptake at the state and territory level.

“In stark contrast, a cut in the Renewable Energy Target will risk Australia falling behind other nations in realising the innovation, economic growth and jobs that come with the renewables revolution.

“Recent polling shows that 75% of Australians support an increase in the Renewable Energy Target. More than 1.3 million Australian families with rooftop solar are enjoying the benefit of lower power bills and doing their part by producing clean energy.

“In a country boasting the solar resources of Australia, it makes sense for all governments to ensure we have more access to solar energy, not less,” Ms O’Rourke said.

Claire O'Rourke is available for interview

Media contact; Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

Christine Milne a Shining Light on Renewable Energy in Australia

Solar Citizens want to take this opportunity to thank Senator Christine Milne for all of her tireless efforts in supporting the growth and protection of renewable energy in Australia.

“Senator Milne has been a real driver and leader on renewable energy and has paved a way for the incredible potential of solar power in Australia to be realised.” said Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke.

“Senator Milne has played a huge role in over 1.3 million Australian families enjoying the many benefits of solar like lower power bills and producing clean energy.”

“The Abbott Government would do well to take a leaf out of her book and work to grow and protect solar in Australia.”

“Recent polling shows that 75% of Australians support an increase in the Renewable Energy Target. Clearly Senator Milne listened to the Australian community when they said they wanted more solar, not less.”

“We welcome Senator Richard Di Natale as new Greens leader and look forward to working with him to make sure all Australian families have access to solar.” said Ms O’Rourke.

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment.

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

Australia’s first floating solar system highlights the enormous benefits of embracing renewable energy

Solar Citizens has today welcomed the opening of Australia’s first ever floating solar system in South Australia.

“It’s incredible to see companies like Infratech Industries using innovation and embracing the solar revolution,” said Solar Citizen’s National Director Claire O’Rourke.

“South Australia will see many benefits from this project including the creation of new jobs and investment in the state.

“This new solar system will generate about 57% more power than land-based systems.

“It shows that inspiring and innovative projects can become reality when state governments provide solar businesses with a supportive policy environment.

“South Australia has shown the way, now it’s time for other states and the Commonwealth to get behind delivering more renewable energy, not less.

“When business and the Australian people are crying out for leadership on renewable energy it’s extremely disappointing that our political leaders are ignoring their calls.

“The uncertainty that the Government has created around the Renewable Energy Target (RET) has had a devastating impact on the industry.

“If the RET is protected and strengthened it will help to create 20,000 new Australian jobs by 2020.

“Solar Citizens’ new campaign ‘Stand up for Solar’ is calling for a national goal of at least 50% renewable energy by 2030.

“Recent polling by Essential Research shows that 59% of Australians support a 50% RET by 2030. It’s clear that there is more leadership in the community than there is in Canberra when it comes to a sun-powered future.

“It’s time for all of our political leaders to follow the example of businesses like Infratech and start investing in renewable energy and Australian jobs,” said Claire O’Rourke

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

See more about Stand up for Solar at: http://www.standupforsolar.org.au/

Lack of political will not technology holding us back from a renewable energy future

Solar Citizens has welcomed a report released today confirming that Australia is well placed to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. The report was produced by WWF and ANU.

National Director Claire O’Rourke welcomed the report, which backs Solar Citizens’ call for at least 50% renewable energy by 2030, a cornerstone of the organisation’s new Stand Up For Solar campaign.

“Today’s report confirms that what Australians want to see is absolutely achievable, and that’s a strong solar and renewable energy future for the country. All we need now is the political will to get this done,” said Ms O’Rourke.

“The rest of the world is moving forward and investing in renewable energy - 89% of Australians polled say they want to keep or strengthen the Renewable Energy Target. Solar and renewables can create 15,000 new Australian jobs by 2020.”

“Australians are crying out for more solar, not less. And clearly the many benefits of solar including lower power bills, clean energy and thousands of solid Australian jobs are well-recognised across the community.

“Right now there is a renewable energy policy vacuum and rather than taking up this realistic goal our current government is intent on taking us backwards when it comes to  renewable energy investment.”  

“It’s time for the Abbott Government to get on board with the technology and the Australian people and stop making us laggards on renewable energy,” said Ms O’Rourke

 

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment


Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404 

 
Stand up for Solar key asks and pledge at www.standupforsolar.org.au

Senator Glenn Lazarus supports ambitious, new Stand up for Solar national campaign

Senator Glenn Lazarus, Independent Senator for Queensland, has today confirmed his support for renewable energy by backing Solar Citizens’ groundbreaking campaign ‘Stand up for Solar’.

The Solar Citizens Stand up for Solar plan calls for:

  1. A national goal of at least 50% of our energy generated by renewables by 2030

  2. An end to discriminatory fees for solar owners, a fair feed in tariff for power fed back into the grid

  3. Helping households with soaring power bills

Senator Glenn Lazarus said, “I’m backing Stand Up For Solar because it’s an ambitious plan for Australia’s renewable energy industry”.

“The Renewable Energy Target has been a driving force for creating jobs, reducing emissions and helping Australians with their power bills.”

“In my home state of Queensland there are 420,000 homes with solar rooftops and the RET has helped create 6,600 jobs.”

"Queensland has been one of the biggest adopters of solar, which is why more needs to be

done to support existing homeowners with solar and to help more Australian households install solar on their rooftops.

“The rest of the world is moving to renewable energy, it’s time my colleagues in Canberra understood the opportunity and looked to grow and protect renewable energy instead of trying to destroy it at every opportunity.”

Senator Glenn Lazarus will be a guest speaker at the Brisbane ‘Stand up for Solar’ launch event on the 27th of April at New Farm Bowls Club.

Solar Citizens National Director Claire O'Rourke said: “Australians will be pleased to see Senator Lazarus stand up for a strong solar future.”

“Senator Lazarus will join solar business owners who will share their stories and find out why so many Australians love solar and want their politicians to protect it.”

“If more politicians in Canberra followed Senator Lazarus’ example the renewable energy industry wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in - and more Australians would be taking control of their power bills by powering their homes with clean solar energy.” said Ms O’Rourke

 

Claire O’Rourke and Glenn Lazarus are available for comment

 

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

What: Stand up for Solar campaign launch

When: 27th April, 7pm-9pm

Where: New Farm Bowls Club, 969 Brunswick RD, New Farm

 

Speakers: Senator Glenn Lazarus, Nigel Morris, expert solar industry analyst of

Solar Business Services and Mike Swanston, energy customer advocate, formerly

from Energex.


Stand up for Solar key asks and pledge at www.standupforsolar.org.au

Labor enters Coalition’s disappointing race to the bottom on Renewable Energy Target

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane’s dismissal of Labor’s 33,500 GWh Renewable Energy Target (RET) compromise shows that the Abbott Government has no interest in providing certainty for Australia’s renewable energy industry and is intent on playing political games with the RET.

“Both of today’s announcements are bitterly disappointing to solar owners and supporters around Australia”, said Solar Citizens National Campaigner Taegen Edwards.

“Labor has been drawn into this race to the bottom. Any reduction in the Target is a huge step backwards for renewable energy.”

“Australian families want to see solar in Australia grow and thrive. Instead of listening to them, the Abbott Government has lead a race to the bottom on renewables, insisting that the target be slashed dramatically.”

“The Government’s Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane’s automatic dismissal of this compromise reinforces the fact that this government does not care about industry certainty or job losses and does not care about Australia’s solar future.”

“Business needs consistent policy to invest and householders need access to solar and other forms of renewable power to reduce their electricity bills.

“The RET is extremely popular, with polls showing 89% of Australians want to keep or strengthen the Target, including 64% of self-identified Liberal voters

“There is a glimmer of hope in Labor’s announcement that may see them increasing their ambition on post 2020 targets. This would be a very welcome step.”

“The Australian people are crying out for vision and leadership on renewable energy. The Abbott government need to stop their incessant attacks on solar and listen to the Australian people when they say they want more solar, not less.” said Ms Edwards.

 

Taegen Edwards is available for comment


Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

Abbott Government’s White Paper reinforces their opposition to the future of solar in Australia

Today’s release of the Federal Government’s Energy White paper fails to recognise the incredible opportunity of solar and renewable energy in Australia’s future energy mix.

Once again the Federal Government has shown their lack of understanding for what Australians want, more solar, not less, said Solar Citizens National Campaigner Taegen Edwards.

“The government are ignoring the golden opportunity provided by solar and renewable energy to lower the cost of power bills.” said Ms Edwards.

“Multiple sources including the government’s own Warburton Review of the Renewable Energy Target found that rooftop solar and renewable energy will work to reduce electricity prices for all Australian families by 2020.

“Investment in renewables has dramatically decreased because of the government's attack on renewables. This paper signals that this attack will continue.”

“Recent polling by Essential Research shows that an overwhelming 59% of Australians support an expansion of the RET to 50% by 2030. It’s clear that there is more leadership in the community than there is in Canberra.”

“Australians are demanding a long term vision for expanded solar and renewable energy, after all it just makes sense to use the abundant natural resources we have - and we have plenty of sunshine.

“The release of this white paper just reinforces the government's complete opposition to the solar industry.”

“The government need to stop their incessant attacks on solar and listen to the Australian people when they say they want more solar, not less.” said Ms Edwards.

 

Taegen Edwards is available for comment

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

Stand Up For Solar: A new campaign with a strong solar vision for Australia

Solar Citizens today launched a new national campaign ‘Stand Up For Solar, that will see thousands of Australians demonstrate strong support for ambitious solar policy. “Stand Up For Solar comes at a time when solar and renewable energy is under constant attack from our Federal Government and the big power companies,” Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke said.

“Stand Up For Solar is a refreshing plan to see a national goal of at least 50% solar and renewable electricity generation by 2030, an end to unfair fees for solar owners and to help all Australians with the rising cost of electricity bills,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“Australians are crying out for more solar not less. The many benefits of solar including lower power bills, clean energy and thousands of solid Australian jobs are well-recognised across the community.

“Before the Federal election there was bipartisan support for the Renewable Energy Target, but now the Government is breaking its word with constant threats to destroy the Target - what’s left is an industry in dire straits.”

“Recent polling by Essential Research shows that an overwhelming 59% of Australians support a 50% RET by 2030. It’s clear that there is more leadership in the community than there is in Canberra.”

“Australians are demanding a long term vision for expanded solar and renewable energy, after all it just makes sense to use the abundant natural resources we have - and we have plenty of sunshine. 

“So far the Abbott Government has failed to deliver. Stand Up For Solar will demonstrate that communities all over Australia want to see our politicians keep their promises and ensure a strong solar and renewable energy future,” said Ms O'Rourke.

 

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment.

Media Contact: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533

 

Stand up for Solar key asks

1. A strong solar and renewables goal

Australians want to see more solar and renewables, not less. A national goal of at least 50% of our energy generated by renewables by 2030 will help millions of families go solar, create tens of thousands of jobs and ensure billions in investment for our sunny country.

2. A fair go for solar owners

Going solar should be easy but big power companies simply aren’t playing fair. We want to see an end to discriminatory fees for solar owners, a fair feed in tariff for power fed back into the grid and a specialist solar ombudsman to protect consumers’ rights in every state and territory.

3. Helping households with soaring power bills

The only guaranteed way people can take control of spiralling power costs is by installing solar. We want to see a strong national program to support low-income households and renters switch to solar and help with the rising cost of living.

Read more about the campaign and take the pledge at

www.standupforsolar.org.au

New Scorecard launches: NSW’s solar future at stake in weekend poll

Solar Citizens have launched their 2015 NSW Election Solar Scorecard, so when the people of NSW head to the polls on Saturday they are able to “Vote 1 Sun”.

“Our Solar Scorecard lays out the key solar policy positions of the major parties, so that voters are able to make an informed choice this Saturday,” said Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke.

“The Greens and The Christian Democratic party showed the strongest commitment to supporting solar in the next term of government. Labor also submitted a positive plan in response to the solar policy questions we put to them.

“While the Liberal Party stated their commitment to a solar future in NSW, their responses to our questions lacked the policy detail to back that up. They refused to commit to a fair price for solar fed into the grid and did not rule out discriminatory fees for solar homeowners.”

“By not giving concrete commitments to protect and grow solar Liberal Party leader, Mike Baird, has missed a golden opportunity to help people take control of rising power bills.”

“There are currently almost 300,000 solar households in NSW - all parties would do well to remember this.”

“NSW can take a leading role in the solar revolution, but only if its political leaders listen to the majority of the voters who want a solar future.”

“Solar Citizens urges all candidates contesting the NSW election to put the support of households who want to benefit from solar front and centre in the final days before the poll.”

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

Media contact: Amy Gordon  0410 631 404

 

Solar Citizens NSW election six policy asks:

1. NO DISCRIMINATORY SOLAR FEES

Does your party guarantee to prevent fees and charges which discriminate against solar owners and people installing storage systems?

2. A FAIR PRICE FOR SOLAR FED INTO THE GRID

There is currently no regulated minimum price that NSW solar owners are paid for the electricity produced by their solar system, fed into the grid and on-sold by their retailer. Individual solar households have little power to negotiate with retailers and many more solar households will be in this position after the Solar Bonus Scheme wraps up in 2016.

Does your party commit to setting a regulated minimum retailer-paid feed-in tariff, set at a fair level for consumers who generate power and feed it back into our state’s energy supply?

3. REVERSE AUCTION TO BOOST COMMUNITY & LARGE-SCALE SOLAR

Will your party commit to launching a reverse auction process to support community and large-scale solar projects (similar to the scheme that has proven so successful in the ACT*) to allow people who cannot put solar on their own rooftop to benefit from the renewable energy revolution?    

4.TRIAL SOLAR STORAGE - THE WAY OF THE FUTURE

Does your party commit to launching a trial of solar with storage - the next big thing - at a household level (in 1,000 NSW homes) and also at a neighbourhood level to test innovation of technology and business models that will allow solar to run day and night and help maintain our state’s energy supply?

5. ENSURE A SMARTER NSW POWER GRID

Does your party commit to ensure networks will take the necessary measures to accommodate more solar in the grid in the future, enable innovative elements like virtual net metering and peer-to-peer solar energy trading and other aspects of a smarter, decentralised grid?

6. STAND UP FOR NSW SOLAR JOBS – PROTECT THE RET

Will your party call on the Federal Government to drop its attempt to slash the 41,000 GWh national Renewable Energy Target, that supports thousands of NSW solar jobs, helps with the price of installation and lowers the wholesale price of power for all consumers, and instead to advocate for the expansion of the Target to at least 50% by 2030?