A few years ago in Australia, the Howard Federal Government were considering scrapping the solar power rebate. This caused an uproar in the community and local TV station Channel 7 launched a petition to lobby against the rebate loss as part of its “Cool the Globe” initiative.
Within just 3 weeks, that solar panel rebate petition had attracted over 175,000 signatures. The result? Howard kept the rebate, in fact doubled it to $8,000!
Commitment to renewable energy was one of catch-cries of the Labor party, led by Kevin Rudd, in the lead up to the last election. Rudd placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of solar power.
While Labor has made some inroads to addressing environmental issues, I feel that the “clean coal” (somewhat of an oxymoron) lobby has had a little too much influence; to the detriment of solar power and the budding local solar energy industry.
For example, Rudd has now means tested the $8,000 rebate at a figure of $100k annual income. Given recent interest rate rises, very few homeowners who earn under $100k could afford a solar power system.
This move by the Rudd government has seen millions of dollars in solar panel orders cancelled – it’s a huge threat to what was a vibrant industry and more importantly, retarding progress in energy independence and emission reduction.
Channel 7’s Sunrise program is once again lobbying the Rudd Federal Government to abolish the means test altogether. I hope you’ll join me in signing the petition with the goal of grabbing Kevin’s attention a little more away from supporting the growth of filthy coal power and back more towards solar power – just as he promised before elected!
Sunrise attracted 175,000 signatures last time round and there were around 31,000 signatures when I signed the petition a short while ago – it would be great if that 175k figure could be doubled this time! If you have a blog, please feel free to reproduce this post!