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Carrot wins, Aussies go solar

solar roofOver the past months I’ve examined the relationship between the stick and the carrot.  And, on virtually every occasion, the stick has beaten seven shades out of the carrot.  But you have to love Australia for showing that the carrot still has the odd sucker punch left in him.

Australian figures on the government’s solar panel rebate take-up down under show the solar industry is growing quickly.

Aussie environment minister Peter Garrett said an average of 522 applications have been lodged weekly since the Federal Budget announcement of the $8000 rebate, according to the Australian paper

This is great news. Based on those figures that’s more than 25,000 per year.

It does show what can be done and could be a key case study for the likes of Obama and McCain in the US presidential race.  And, possibly, Cameron and Brown (or maybe Milliband) in the next UK election race.

Commenting on the figures, Rob Jackson of Australia’s Clean Energy Council stated in the press release:

“The figures demonstrated that the Australian solar PV industry continued to move from strength to strength.”


  • Peter
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 11:17 am

    ‘Carrot wins…’ Mea… what’s up, Doc?

    Sorry, I just felt it was worth repeating.

  • Andrew Neilson
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    ps – I forgot – the rebate program only has funding for about 6000 applications per year, not 25,000. So an average of 500 per month is good for the government because it meets the annual quota. If only it were 25,000…!

  • Andrew Neilson
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Actually, it’s not quite that simple.
    The rebate was introduced some years ago. In 2006 the former (conservative) government doubled the rebate, to $8000. This had the predictable effect of dramatically increasing demand….to the point where the government program was going to run out of money….so in March 2008 the new (labour) government imposed a means test, so the rebate is only available to families with less than $100k annual income.
    Naturally the solar industry was, ahem, upset by this… Peter Garrett was addressing the annual conference of solar businesses (I was in the audience), so he was keen to show that the means test had not killed the industry (despite testimony from solar businesses that their orders have dropped by 70% or more and they have laid off staff). The figures don’t tell the whole story…
    What the industry really needs is a *long term* (ie guaranteed for >15 years) gross feed in tariff which rewards clean power generation (regardless of technology or installation size).

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