Rooftop solar panels are now a political issue according to some fascinating analysis from Giles Parkinson of RenewEconomy. A series of surveys and postcode analysis have shown that Australians have one of the highest numbers of small scale solar PV systems on household roofs in the world. We are beaten only by Japan.
Most of the households with solar installations are in our mortgage belts, in the city and in regional areas, NOT as many have thought, in the domain of the latte set!
1. Wright in south-east Queensland, held by the Liberal National Party’s Scott Buchholz
2. Lalor, a northern Melbourne suburb, held by Julia Gillard
Politicians can now see that rooftop solar PV, and other renewables, are important to their constituents. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) will be important to voters, also how rooftop solar is treated not just by the RET, but by state-based tariffs, by local utilities and network providers, many of whom are fearful of what solar PV will do to their business.
Lindsay Soutar, 100% Renewables National Campaign Co-ordinator says:
“Support for solar will be a hot issue in the 2013 election…
Solar offers householders the ultimate financial control over their power bills so voters will be looking to see which party will help them manage their energy bills now and in the future.”
Giles Parkinson explains:
“Contrary to popular belief, rooftop solar is not the province of the inner city latte set..
Greens MP Adam Bandt’s inner city seat of Melbourne (2,849) has one of the lowest deployments, as do the seats of Peter Garrett (2,527) and Malcolm Turnbull (1,265).
The electorates of Energy Minister Martin Ferguson rates fairly low (4,377). His opposite number, Ian Macfarlane rates higher (8,936), and the electorates of Climate Change Minister Greg Combet (11,455) and that of his counterpart Greg Hunt (12,971), are also high.
What is interesting is that many marginal seats, and many held by the Coalition, also have high numbers of rooftop solar installations..
Nearly four million Australians, and one million households, have solar on their roofs, and at least double that are expected to follow in the next two years..
The introduction of financing initiatives such as solar leasing have the potential to make solar available to an even greater demographic.”
The Australian Solar Council, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the community-based lobby group 100% Renewables teamed up to commission leading industry analyst Sunwiz to plot a solar electorate map, which shows where householders are investing in solar panels and hot water systems to cut their power bills.
It’s all part of the economy, stupid..