Australian Solar Council targets Queensland in lead up to election

Queensland has been one of Australia’s strongest performing solar states. Figures from the Australian Photovoltaic Institute shows that the state has an installed solar capacity of almost 1.25 GW, with over 26% of all dwellings sporting a PV array.

The Australian Solar Council says that the Queensland state premier Campbell Newman, “has been the most anti-solar Premier in Australia’s history, writing the playbook for [conservative Prime Minister] Tony Abbott’s assault on solar and renewable energy.”

Regulations introduced to parts of the grid in Queensland require that PV arrays do not feed any electricity into the grid at all. Many others, some 258 MW of rooftop installations across 74,000 households in the south east of the state, receive a feed-in tariff of only AUD$0.06/kWh (US$0.05/kWh).

However this appears to not be dissuading solar uptake in the state, with some 2,700 rooftop systems being installed in September 2014, worth 13 MW of capacity. This is according to figures from the south-east Queensland grid operator Energex.

In a statement released today, the Australian Solar Council has attacked the Queensland government’s record on solar.

“[Queensland premier] Newman has called for the Renewable Energy Target to be abolished. The Queensland Treasurer, Tim Nicholls, has attacked solar families – the hundreds of thousands of lower and middle-income families investing their own money to slash their power bills with solar and creating jobs. The Newman Government has punished families who have installed solar in good faith and now get nothing for the solar power they feed back into the grid.”

The Australian Solar Council intends to extend its successful Save Solar Campaign in the lead up to the Queensland state election, through holding Save Solar Forums in key electorates.

The Save Solar campaign was launched nationally by the Australian Solar Council to defend the country’s Renewable Energy Targets (RET) from government measures to slash the target. To date, the attempts to amend, reduce or substantially change the RET and solar support schemes have been unsuccessful.