“Revenge politics” see rooftop solar in firing line 385



View Profile

In what’s being described as “revenge politics”, Tony Abbott has announced further cuts to renewable energy, a move that could cost everyday Australians the ability to produce free energy from the sun.

Speaking from Darwin yesterday, Mr Abbott said the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which provides loans to the renewable energy sector and which the government plans to close down, would no longer invest in small-scale solar projects, including rooftop solar.

What this means is that if an Australian company wanted to set up a solar-panel manufacturing operation here in Australia, for example, the CEFC is banned from loaning the funds.

Australia currently has one manufacturer of solar panels, the rest are made overseas and imported.

This comes hot on the heels of the directive that the CEFC cannot fund projects involving the second most important source of renewable energy – wind.

The only renewable energy projects the CEFC can now fund are large-scale, such as solar farms.

A letter to the CEFC by Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann ordered that direct investments in household and small-scale solar be “excluded” from the $10 billion fund, “including extant wind technology and household and small-scale solar”.

There are currently 1.3 million rooftop solar systems in Australia and most received publicly-backed rebates to install their systems.

In recent years, the CEFC has prioritised projects that help people who do not own their own homes connect to solar energy. This includes people who on low incomes, those who live in apartments and community groups.

Mr Abbott said, “This is a government which supports renewables, but obviously we want to support renewables at the same time as reducing the upward pressure on power prices. We want to keep power prices as low as possible, consistent with a strong renewables sector.”

However, John Grimes, head of the Australian Solar Council, told Guardian Australia, “To say this is about lowering the costs of power is cynical in the extreme. What they’re doing with this is the precise opposite.”

He said the move was “revenge politics” for the solar industry’s successful campaign to keep small-scale solar power in the renewable energy target (RET).

“Tony Abbott is keeping people trapped paying higher electricity prices,” Mr Grimes told Fairfax Media.

Shadow environment spokesman Mark Butler said: “These proposed changes go well beyond Tony Abbott’s opposition to the aesthetic values of wind farms – it’s a wholesale attack on renewable energy.

“Tony Abbott is broadening his assault on renewable energy technologies putting thousands of Australian jobs and billions of dollars in investment at even further risk.”

Do you have rooftop solar? Do you think the government is trying to undermine the renewable energy sector?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Government can’t tax free sunlight. Abbots view on climate change stops any progressive development

    10 REPLY
    • Don’t you bet on it.
      He will find a way. We get charged for water that falls out of the sky. Farmers get charged government fees for water they pump out of the ground using wells they have paid to dig.

    • Chris Stringer
      I’m talking about those peopke who are required to have tanks installed. They have to pay tax on those tanks. So that is all new homes built after a certain date depending on the local council you live in.
      I’m guessing you live in a big city so you have no idea how farmers get hit with these sort of costs.

    • Also come from farming familly background and I milk cows regularly. Water is still taxed due to the processing in Urban areas.There are many communities downstream that are entitled to the water that one river provides

    • Ruth if you are paying tax on your tanks then you are being scammed by someone in Nigeria because no one pays tax on Water Tanks in Australia unless your referring to GST.

    • Labor and the Greens stopped positive development and wanted leftist policy to prevail and then bankruptcy just like Greece.

    • And everyone is entitled to their opinion . I believe in what is actually said, not someone’s take on it . And i prefer to see results not surmise . I am not a sheep that follows the flock I believe what I see for myself and I believe in what I actually hear , with out embellishment because you don’t like him . Just bagging and name calling someone because he stopped some give aways ( that everyone feels entitled too ) is not cause enough for me . He is making you pay for free sunlight ? A little melodramatic , don’t you think . ?

      1 REPLY
      • Well if you believe in what you hear. Did’nt the same person say there will be no changes to the abc and sbs, No tax increases. No cuts to pensions Etc Etc So if you only believe in what your hear perhaps your memory is going. This dictator can tell you anything and you will believe it.

        1 REPLY
        • there has been no cuts in pensions, there has been no increase in taxes and there has been no new changes to abc or sbs, except the ones legislated by the labor government when they were in office, or by the management of the tv stations. Funding budgets always have been and always will be an annual thing for any organisation funded by Federal Government so that is not a change, that is normal.

    • the one thing he could do is stop paying people to have children and stop supporting child care…………. errrrrrrrrrrrrr – you want the kids you budget for them and pay like many of us did pre all these handouts.

      1 REPLY
      • Hey Caroline, Thank goodness there are at least two of us in Australia that can see the stupidity of paying women to have children, pay them wages for not working and subsidising the child care cost when the other payouts are used up. If Mums and Dads can’t afford the children then Dad should visit his Doctor and have a little nick to make sure he doesn’t produce any. My second child was born when I was 20 and4 years later after have many arguments with Doctors/Surgeons I had a Vasectomy. Now I am a Great-Grandfather and hope my progeny will follow suit.

    • The cost is always for infrastructure……whether it be for water,electricity…..my water useage cost is very resaonable….$100 for 3 months,but when you add in fixed costs ,it becomes $400…even if I never used a drop,I would still have to pay $300…..Costs have become totally unbalanced…..similar situation for electricity….The government will always win….because they continually change the gold posts.

  2. Of course we all do but the government doesn’t care. They are blind, deaf, dumb and stupid when it comes to renewable energies and I am a LNP voter. Open your eyes please!!!!

    2 REPLY
    • Totally agree Judith Forbes…..we are being taken for total idiots….I don’t like Abbot and I’m a lib voter too….but..he’s being used by the libs……his whole demeanor is awful…..if he fronts for the next election God help us.

    • I don’t think the Libs are using him, I think he is using them, it’s his way or the highway. Yes he is awful and hope they get thrashed at the next election.

  3. This decision is another totally disgusting act by Abbott which not just impacts on RET but low income families efforts to support renewables and reduce energy costs.

  4. I don’t understand Mr Abbott’s attitude to renewable energy. Surely we should be doing more, rather than less. A real mystery.

    3 REPLY
    • They really believe that Australians have no intelligence and are all people who avidly listen to people like Alan Jones or read right-wing Tory rags like the Telegraph, before they form opinions of their own. Well wake up Abbott! People are waking up to you and your bumbling stupidity!! They are educated and intelligent enough to unbiasedly analyse a situation, look through your party’s rhetoric and see your disguised agendas.

  5. I am an avid LNP supporter, but even I know when enough is enough, please let’s make sure we get rid of them at the next election. I will not be giving them my vote again until they change their attitude to caring about Australia and it’s people…..renewable energy is the only way to go and if you can’t see that then you won’t see the biggest defeat in an election coming to you ever…..

    14 REPLY
    • Judith Forbes I am so glad to hear that. Hope there are a lot more out there like you. We can’t let this Man continue to make all the wrong decisions.

    • People can change their minds about their votes and why should not they? Out there in voting land are many swing voters who I am sure are regretting their decision to vote Liberal.. it takes courage to say I am wrong and to change your mind ..Judith should be commended

    • Oh so you think I can’t change well you are wrong there, believe me they will not get my vote any more. I have done it before when I wasn’t happy and I will do it again this time…..thank you Libbi Elliot

    • my hat is off to you Judith, I have voted Liberal before and this is not what The Liberal Party stood for.. sadly they have been taken over by the radicals, we have the American Tea Party running the Government

    • I voted Labor once, never again, in any circumstances, PM is not against Solar , just against throwing money at companies run by Govt. called Renewable Energy Commission , most of the money goes to the BOSSES etc, This is another pink batts scheme. If you want it why can’t you just ring up a company and do it yourself . Why do you need A Commission to organise it

    • Even though I am a strong Labor supporter, I can honestly say that we have had conservative governments before and they have NEVER been like this current one! You have made real sense, Judith! a good post! thankyou!

    • I am so concerned about the current prime minister and his far right front bench. I never thought I would see such a government in Australia!

  6. Thr’ye not dumb and stupid they are liberals and want you to pay for everthing they and their cronies own or yeah sorry liberal means dumb and stupid I just had the dictionary for a brief moment

    1 REPLY
  7. Would like to know who is making millions of dollars out of these eye sores

    4 REPLY
    • you don’t sound very well educated to me..do the research then comment, even school children today know that coal is a danger to our environment and adds to Global warming

    • I’m sorry I gave you the benefit of the doubt Doreen. I didn’t realize you really meant clean energy was ugly. The foot print of a wind tower (which has no effect on the water table, or the production ability of the land compared to a mine hole the size of Sydney with no chance of restoration to productive land – ever.

    • When these unsightly windmills don’t supply power , WHAT will provide the energy ? they only run IF the wind is a certain speed Under or over they don’t work . I have done my homework AND I have read comments from many in COUNTRY . they don’t want them, and say we in CITY should have them,too

  8. This Government thrives on revenge. it is not only this issue, look at the wasted money on the Royal Commissions. They tell us to tighten our belts and waste money like its going out of fashion

    1 REPLY
  9. Doreen you need to change your attitude. Solor panels are good and the savings to the planed will
    Be far greater and the future to Australia and our children and grandchildren a very good Beninfet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *