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a solar future for Australia? « Previous | |Next »
February 1, 2009

Muriel Watt and Iain MacGill speak truth to power in The Age when they observe that Australian Governments have been and are far more focused on trying to retain and expand Australia's fossil-fuel energy industries than on supporting the sustainable energy industries of the future:

We have huge solar energy potential, our coal-dominated electricity industry is among the most greenhouse intensive in the world, yet we are half-hearted about adopting the former and spend a great deal of effort bolstering up the latter.In an increasing number of other countries, solar technologies provide power for homes, offices, farms and factories.The rest of the world is embracing the very solar inventions stemming from Australian research to enable them to secure 21st-century industries and jobs, while Australia clings to its fossil-fuel past.

The global PV industry has been growing at 30-50 per cent a year in the past decade. Billions of dollars are being invested in solar technologies internationally with hundreds of manufacturing facilities being established in countries as diverse as Norway, Germany, Spain, Japan, the US, China, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. These plants are employing hundreds of thousands of people, and helping deliver a more sustainable energy future.

This is what Australia has turned its back on.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:13 PM | | Comments (6)


Australian Governments are not serious about change--shifting to a low carbon economy.

I guess that it could be argued that Labor's emissions trading scheme has been deliberately toned down to take into account an economy in recession. Hence the generous compensation for industry and the relatively low aspiration to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 by between 5 and 15 per cent.

For those who are already opposed to an emissions trading, the global financial crisis has proved handy ammunition.

Living in Adelaide where the electricity is turned off due to extreme heat (alongside the global financial crisis), it seems inconceivable that the government does not provide stimulus to the economy by subsidising the installation of solar panels and other initiatives to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
The loss of jobs in the coal industry could be offset by an invigorated manufacturing industry dedicated to renewable energy.
The global financial crisis should not be used as an excuse to not forge ahead toward a green future. In fact, this is the perfect excuse to embrace it even more.

I'm just as puzzled as you. Instead of helping households invest in solar panels to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels we have a moral discourse that air conditioners are bad and should be turned off. Air-conditioners are seen as equivalent to large plasma TVs, not as necessary and which can be run by solar power on rooftops.

Yet Australians are already dying from climate change. No matter. Shovel more money to the polluters.

its depressing isn't it. The government is meant to protect the interests of the people in a climate change scenario of a hotter world , but it has instead protected the interests of the big polluters.