Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

A positive thought for Australian solar energy industry

We have got a chance to get in at the start of a major new growth industry, and we have the smarts to make it work if the government signals that it will support local manufacturers.”

Call to foster local solar panel makers, Ben Cubby, Sydney Morning Herald, October 2, 2010 Australian solar panel makers are calling for industry protection to slow down a flood of cheap panels being manufactured in China, as the NSW government reviews its solar tariff scheme.

The scheme fuelled a massive boost in rooftop panel installation when it was announced in January. Over 30,000 households signed up to receive 60 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity they fed back into the power grid – or four times the market rate.

The tariff was suspended by the state government after it surpassed its 50-megawatt capacity in August, well ahead of schedule, though people who had already signed up are guaranteed future payments.

But the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union is urging a two-tier system. Households installing panels made in Australia should receive the 60 cents rate and those putting in cheaper, imported panels should receive 50 cents, it says.

”A lot of the research and the product development happens in Australia but because there haven’t been sufficient price signals here, most of the manufacturing has ended up overseas,” said the union’s state secretary, Tim Ayres.

”We have got a chance to get in at the start of a major new growth industry, and we have the smarts to make it work if the government signals that it will support local manufacturers.”

The union will also campaign to have the scheme broadened to cover commercial and industrial users of solar power.

”Then you also have to look at schools – they are open only during the day and they could get major benefits from the tariff,” Mr Ayres said…..

Call to foster Australian solar panel makers

October 2, 2010 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, solar | , , , , , ,

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