Australian solar installation program limited to Sydney

On Sunday, Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts proposed a larger safety inspection campaign after the results of a small sample of tests showed up problems with installations. However, while announcing the details of the inspection plan today, Roberts said that 25 inspectors will target instillations in Sydney.

The solar industry has reacted angrily to the government’s handling of the issue with Australian Solar Energy Society (ASES) chief executive John Grimes saying its treatment is grossly unfair. "In terms of the government’s response, they’re saying it’s a life-and-death issue, (that) is absolutely staggering."

Muriel Watt, head of Energy Policy and Photovoltaics with IT Power, has told pv magazine in a statement that while installation faults are a serious matter photovoltaic modules themselves are rarely the problem.

"Most system faults found during inspections have been readily and quickly fixed," she said. "Despite of 40 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaics now installed worldwide, only a few fires have occurred and none in Australia."