Legislative Assembly Members Give Update on Local Renewable Energy

Filed under How-To Centre

SEE-Change and the Canberra Clean Energy Connection organised a Community Renewable Energy Forum on 26 July 2012 to provide an update on local renewable energy issues.

Key speakers were:

  • Simon Corbell MLA (ACT Government Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development)
  • Shane Rattenbury MLA (Greens spokesman on energy issues), and
  • Local businessman, Justin Ryan of Armada Solar.

The ACT Liberals provided a written statement, which outlined areas in which they had pioneered sustainability initiatives.

Simon Corbell advised that the feed-in tariff had boosted renewable energy generation from less than 1 Megawatt in 2008 to over 26 Megawatts. Since the end of the micro-scale feed-in tariff in July 2011, solar energy capacity had continued to increase.

The ACT Government’s commitment to large-scale renewable energy generation will add a further 210 Megawatts. An expert panel is assessing bids for the first 40 megawatts of capacity under the large-scale renewable generation program. 10 bids have been shortlisted under the reverse auction process, and the ACT Government will announce the successful bid shortly.

Shane Rattenbury pointed to the rapid reduction in the costs of renewable energy, which he said is 70% cheaper now than in 2008. The micro feed-in tariff for households had not been middle-class welfare as often claimed. He said the evidence indicated that many solar systems had been installed in Canberra suburbs with lower income households.

Justin Ryan of Armada Solar said the cost of solar energy had gone down significantly while electricity costs have gone up, making it easier for the solar industry to stand on its own. Prices have come down so far that many European and American solar panel manufacturers no longer exist, unable to compete with Chinese manufacturers. There is even intense competition between the many Chinese solar panel manufacturers, with a consolidation to a smaller number of companies likely to occur. In Canberra, there has also been consolidation, with several solar panel installers no longer in the industry.

Find out more about the Forum, and about how you can get involved in supporting Canberra’s transition to renewable energy, by visiting the Canberra Clean Energy Connection website.

You can find monthly updates on renewable energy generation capacity in the ACT on the ACT Government’s Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate’s website here.

Have your say in the climateXchange forum on Renewable Energy.


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