Record investment in solar? record rate of pulling money out of solar!

Energy Matters0

Record investment in solar? Record rate of pulling money out of solar!

Melbourne, Wednesday 28 July 2010

Far from their advertising slogan of ‘record investments in solar and
other renewables’, the Labor government is pulling money out of solar
power at a record rate, the Australian Greens said today.

In addition to the $220 million pulled out of the Solar Flagships
program and $150 million from solar hot water rebates to fund cash for
clunkers, the Greens have learned that the world renowned UNSW Centre
for Excellence in Photovoltaic Research has been de-funded.

At the same time, the Liberals are proposing cuts to climate programs as
part of their savings initiatives, leaving the Greens as the only party
with credible policies for climate action.

“The government is cynically using Australians’ love of solar power as
an advertising slogan while ripping money out of what little funding
programs they have,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine
Milne, said.

“After three years of ALP government, the Australian renewable energy
industry is still struggling to compete with entrenched coal while,
around the world, renewables are booming.

“The renewable energy industry has lost count of the number of times new
programs have been announced and suddenly disappeared, to be replaced
with new labels which still don’t receive the funding promised.

“The uncertainty this causes means investment has stalled, and jobs and
opportunities lost.

“The UNSW Centre for Excellence is celebrated around the world for its
innovation. It trained the world’s first solar billionaire, Dr Zhengrong

“But with renewable energy clearly such a low priority for both the
government and opposition, there is no direct funding of the centre and
the ongoing research funding has not been renewed.

“Australian governments have repeatedly made millions available to coal
companies and car companies. Why are they so reluctant to actually
properly fund world-leading renewable energy innovation, even though
they are happy to claim credit for doing so?

“The Centre for Excellence is an investment of a few million dollars a
year to create some 70 jobs, a great global reputation and, of course,
wonderful technologies that will help us tackle the climate crisis.

“The Greens are the only party that has the vision to take Australia
beyond coal, looking to plan the transition to 100% renewable energy and
implement the policies to get us there.”

Tim Hollo
Media Adviser
Senator Christine Milne | Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate
Change Spokesperson
Suite SG-112 Parliament House, Canberra ACT | P: 02 6277 3588 | M: 0437
587 562|

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