Hunt’s ATRAA Address: Vision For A Solar Continent

Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water, Greg Hunt MP, addressed the Appropriate Technology Retailers Association of Australia (ATRAA) conference yesterday, outlining what he calls his "vision for a solar continent".
  
In his address, Mr Hunt also expressed concern the Rudd Government’s renewable energy target (RET) scheme risks locking out technologies like large-scale solar, tidal and geothermal; and that these emerging forms of clean energy deserve a mandated slice of the action.
  
Mr Hunt recapped the body-blows delivered to the Australia solar industry recently, which is still hurting from  the sudden end of important rebate programs, followed by the stalling of the Solar Credits scheme
  
Mr Hunt said he was astonished to see the RET legislation, of which the Solar Credits program is a part of, "become tangled in the political game-playing of the emissions trading scheme" and said that it had been held hostage – and unnecessarily so.
  
While critical of the Rudd Government regarding the emissions trading scheme, he also extended an olive branch – saying "if the Government is willing to talk, we would be willing to agree that 5%, or one quarter of the 20% of the RET, could be reserved for emerging baseload renewables."
  
Mr Hunt believes allocating a quarter of the RET target to emerging technologies would “ensure that the great vision of solar baseload, geothermal power, tidal and wave power is not lost”.
  
Hunt says the proposal is “a good faith offer", but the opposition would not use it as an excuse to block the legislation. "We want to see the legislation passed.”
  
The full text of Mr. Hunt’s ATRAA address notes can be viewed here.
  
The ATRAA conference  has been running for over three decades and is the largest solar industry event in Australia. Apollo Energy, a subsidiary of Energy Matters, is attending this year’s conference and the team  will be available to answer questions from businesses, home owners and community groups regarding the application of solar power for their particular situation on the conference public open day to be held on August 1.
  
Further details regarding ATRAA 2009 can be viewed here.