10 February 2018

Berejiklian falls short with solar and batteries announcement

“The Berejiklian government’s commitment to help 300,000 households access solar and batteries is welcome but is too little and too late after eight years of inaction on climate change and clean energy,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said.

“It is good the Coalition has responded to the community’s demand for solar and batteries, but it falls short of what’s needed to act on climate change and reduce household power bills.”

The Coalition today announced it would provide up to 300,000 interest-free loans for homeowners who want to install rooftop solar and battery storage.

State Labor yesterday pledged to help put solar on 500,000 homes over the next 10 years by providing rebates worth up to $2,200.

“These measures show the major parties now realise voters want clean energy and the party with the best climate and energy policies will enter the state poll on March 23 with a clear advantage,” Ms Smolski said.

“It is great the Coalition has included batteries in its plan because that will help firm up the energy supply and increase reliability. However, 200,000 fewer households will benefit from solar than will under Labor’s plan.

“No matter which party wins the election, the number of NSW residents living under solar panels will significantly increase, and that's great news for bills and the climate.

“Making it easier for households to access solar is very important, but large-scale solar farms, wind farms and storage is where the big advances must be made.

“We await the parties’ announcements on large-scale renewables and storage with great interest.”

Climate action groups last month outlined what it would take to turn around the state’s terrible performance on clean energy. [1] That includes the government: 

  • Providing solar power to 400,000 households (including rentals) in the next term of government (by 2023) and to all homes by 2029.
  • Tendering for 4000MW of large-scale clean power;
  • Powering all government operations with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2023; and
  • Legislating for net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, and ensure all government decisions consider the impact of policies on climate change.

[1] www.nature.org.au/media/368594/181220-policy-briefing-a-clean-energy-future-for-nsw.pdf

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