Media - Solar Citizens

Media Releases

Victoria leads on the way forward for solar and renewables

Solar Citizens welcomes the news that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has committed to reintroducing a Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET).

“After the Federal Government took a wrecking ball to the Federal Target late last week, it’s encouraging to see leadership coming from State Governments on renewable energy,” said Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke.

“Premier Andrews is making job creation in renewable energy and lowering the cost of living a top priority - it’s an ambitious move, but also a sensible one for Victoria.”

“This Target would help create jobs, lower family's power bills and allow people to produce their own clean energy.”

“Where the Federal Government is lacking a sensible approach on renewable energy, it is only logical that State Governments should step in to make sure jobs and investment are created.”

“We’re already seeing a rooftop revolution across Victoria, with more than 214,000 solar households.”

“These families have already saved about $120 million on their power bills.”

“Australians are demanding leadership on renewable energy, they want to see more solar, not less and a VRET could help millions of Victorians go solar,” Ms O’Rourke said.

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404


Solar Citizens today welcomed Labor Cabinet’s rejection of the Abbott Government’s latest attempt to cut the Renewable Energy Target (RET), which keeps a 2-yearly mandated review.

National Director Claire O’Rourke said the inclusion of a frequent review was a dog whistle to the big power companies, locking in special treatment for fossil-fuel energy sources and sustaining uncertainty in renewable energy investment.

The toxic ongoing political attack on renewable energy such as solar and wind is placing more than 8,000 jobs at risk and threatens solar companies looking at installing big solar projects, Ms O’Rourke said.

“The underhanded tactics employed to scale back the Target and disadvantage renewable energy benefit no one but the big power companies who will make a $45 billion windfall from holding solar and wind back,” she said.

“Meanwhile, households will continue to pay more for power and miss their chance for generating their own clean energy.

“More than 1.3 million households have already installed rooftop solar power - the technology is proven and ready to go. What’s missing is a failure by our politicians who are way behind the majority of Australians excited by the potential of the solar revolution.

“Recent polling from The Australia Institute shows 75% of Australians support an increase in the Renewable Energy Target, not a decrease.

“Every day the Abbott Government continues to attack renewable energy will take Australian renewable energy generation backwards.

“Hundreds of solar homeowners and other community members who support solar have gathered at Stand Up for Solar events in Queensland and at the Richmond Town Hall last week in Melbourne to talk about the future of solar power.

“They have pledged to support a national goal of at least 50% solar and renewable energy by 2030, an end to unfair fees for solar owners and to help all Australians with the rising cost of electricity bills.

“Our political leaders can’t deliver the energy system for the next century with an outdated policy from the last. World markets are changing, we must change and innovate with them,” she said.

Media contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

Solar homeowners deliver hundreds of letters to Labor and call on them to keep their election promises on solar power

Solar Citizens will tomorrow deliver more than 650 individual letters from Queensland residents to Minister for Energy Mark Bailey calling on the State Government to implement their election promises to grow and protect solar power in Queensland.

The call to turn words into action comes as the Palaszczuk Government will reach their milestone first 100 days in power on Thursday 14th May.

“The letters come from all over Queensland and contain messages from solar users, solar workers and other locals who support the many benefits of solar”, said Solar CItizens Director of Campaigns and Organising Dan Scaysbrook.

Before the election the incoming Palaszczuk Government made a series of promises to solar households, including setting up a review to determine a fair price for solar fed into the grid - considering consumer interests above those of the big power companies - and a target to reach 1 million solar rooftops in Queensland by 2020.

“The election promises made before the State Election will go a long way in winding back the previous government’s attacks on solar,” Mr Scaysbrook said today.

“The Palaszczuk Government shouldn’t wait another 100 days to show they are serious about the growth of jobs and solar in Queensland and keep their election promises.”

“The faster the Palaszczuk Government delivers on their promises, the sooner Queenslanders can go solar and help thousands more households save money on their soaring household power bills.

“Solar Citizens’ new campaign ‘Stand Up For Solar’ was launched in Queensland a fortnight ago with over 300 people attending events on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane.

“The campaign asks both federal and state governments to take action to protect and grow solar throughout Australia and Solar Citizens will be asking Minister Bailey to get behind it.”

“More than 420,000 Queensland homes have already installed solar power to cut their electricity bills. The plan to increase that number to 1 million is good for jobs, good for helping households address the cost of living and good for the Queensland economy. We call on the Government to get things moving.” Mr Scaysbrook said.

Some typical statements from the letters collected by Solar Citizens include:
“Hope your Government will now encourage rather than discourage the solar electric industry to create jobs and sustainable development for the future. This is what you have promised us.” - Amy-Rose, Sunshine Coast.
“I am particularly interested in your progress in the solar arena. The previous govt seemed to be doing everything possible to get rid of solar power generation and particularly feed in payments. (At one time 44 cents was said to be reasonable because that was what the govt. had to pay power stations) It almost seemed that the govt was in the coal mining business and not governing in the best interests of the people. Good luck with your projects” - Harold, Ingham

Dan Scaysbrook is available for comment

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

What: Delivery of more than 650 letters to Energy Minister Mark Bailey from solar supports who want Labor to keep their election promises on renewable energy
Where: Brisbane City Ministerial Office
When: 9am 12th May

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


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:

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

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

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