Earlier today I launched the NSW Greens Rooftop Solar Plan with our energy spokesperson John Kaye MP outside the old White Bay coal fired Power Station . It was fittingly hot and sunny!
Our new 'Reigniting the Rooftop Solar Future' plan is designed to help households join the solar revolution, rebuild the NSW solar industry, create new jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The NSW Greens plan:
- boosts the solar bonus rate to a sustainable 35 cents per kilowatt-hour (35 c/kWh, up from the current 20 c/kWh),
- provides a pool of loan funding for low income households, aged-care facilities and renters to benefit from roof top solar panels, and
- pays for the costs of running the scheme from a licence fee on coal-fired power stations.
I told reporters for 2GB and ABC radio that:
"The Keneally government has wreaked havoc on the roof top solar sector plunging it first into boom, then into bust. This is the worst outcome that an industry can suffer. If you wanted to kill off the renewable future, this is what you would do.
"The Greens want to undo the calamity brought down on the state's solar industry by the wild fluctuation in the bonus.
"Our package would stabilise the bonus at a sustainable 35 cents per kilowatt hour. We would give low and middle income families access to interest free loans to join the solar revolution and we would take the burden off ordinary families by making the carbon culprits pay.
"The residents of seats like Balmain are keen to be part of the solution to global warming. The Greens want to make sure that they can benefit from rooftop solar power without burdening other households by making the coal-fired power stations pay for the scheme.
"The future is with distributed energy systems like rooftop solar. The Greens want to make sure that NSW is positioned to become a world leader to create thousands of jobs and build a robust low carbon energy economy.
"The Keneally government mismanaged the scheme from the very beginning. They failed to monitor the number of panels being installed and they missed the global economic changes that were to make panels much cheaper.
"The cost of Labor's incompetence has been a solar industry in deep depression and a massive political backlash against renewable energy.
"The Coalition failed to support the Greens MPs' move to put the bonus back up to a sustainable level. The Liberal and National's only contribution has been to exaggerate the impacts on household bills and build a climate of fear.
"If elected in Balmain, one of my first tasks will be to push the next government to adopt the Greens plan for a vibrant solar future".