Sun shines in China thanks to feed-in tariff

Sun shines in China thanks to feed-in tariff

Wednesday 9 September 2009

The world’s largest solar power station – a massive 2 gigawatts – will
be built in China thanks to the Chinese adoption of a renewable energy
feed-in tariff, it was announced overnight.

The Rudd Government has repeatedly refused to embrace the feed-in tariff
Private Member’s Bill introduced by Australian Greens Deputy Leader,
Senator Christine Milne. The Government claims its policies are
sufficient, even though all the evidence points to a stagnating
renewable energy sector in Australia.

“Australia is the sunny country and the clever country, but Mr Rudd and
Senator Wong want us to remain coal country,” Senator Milne said.

“The gross feed-in tariff, which guarantees a fair market for renewable
energy, is delivering gigawatts of zero emissions power and hundreds of
thousands of jobs around the world, but in Australia the Government
prefers photo ops to real policy.”

The massive 2 gigawatt solar power station announced overnight in China
will be built by US company, First Solar. First Solar’s CEO, Mike Ahearn
said:

“The Chinese feed-in tariff will be critical to this project.

“This type of forward-looking government policy is necessary to create a
strong solar market and facilitate the construction of a project of this
size, which in turn continues to drive the cost of solar electricity
closer to `grid parity` – where it is competitive with traditional
energy sources.”

Senator Milne said “I couldn’t have put it better myself.

“The Rudd Government recently cut the hugely successful Remote Regional
Power Generation Program because it ran out of its allocated funding.
Communities in remote parts of Australian keen to clean their air and
water by getting off dirty diesel now can’t do so.

“The Rudd Government’s Solar Flagships program is increasingly being
seen by industry as a classic ‘Hollow Men’ idea without any policy
backing. It has been delayed for 18 months and is attracting criticism
for being unworkable from the very companies it is supposed to support.

“Embracing the gross feed-in tariff for all renewable energy in
Australia would go a long way to making sure we see massive solar
developments coming to the sunny country instead of solar innovators
going bust or going offshore.

“Why won’t Mr Rudd and Senator Wong embrace the feed-in tariff?”

Several States in Australia have introduced Claytons feed-in tariffs
which support only net generation from small-scale rooftop solar power.
It is critical that a feed-in tariff is national and supports all energy
produced from all renewable energy technologies of all sizes.

Tim Hollo
Media Adviser
Senator Christine Milne | Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate
Change Spokesperson
Suite SG-112 Parliament House, Canberra ACT | P: 02 6277 3588 | M: 0437
587 562
http://www.christinemilne.org.au/| www.GreensMPs.org.au
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