Media release

Time for biggest states to lift game: Solar industry, advocates

Australia would not have a large-scale renewable energy industry without the support of South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, solar advocates say.

Homeowners who love solar and those who work in the solar industry have welcomed a new report card that put SA and ACT at the top of the class, and New South Wales at the bottom.

Released today, the Climate Council report Game On: Australia’s Renewable Energy Race Heats Up grades the states on their renewable energy policy settings and performance across a range of indicators including rooftop solar penetration, large-scale capacity per capita and percentage of renewable electricity.

It found policy support for renewable energy amongst the states continues to increase with all states, except Victoria and NSW, increasing the proportion of renewable energy in their electricity supply since the last state update in 2014.

Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes said without the efforts of the South Australian and ACT governments Australia would not have a large-scale renewable energy industry.

“Australia has suffered through years of attacks on solar and renewable energy from the Abbott/Turnbull governments but through the darkness ACT and South Australia have been the bright lights that kept an industry alive,” Mr Grime said.

“Other states are now embracing the economic opportunities from renewable energy, with the Queensland government committed to 50% renewables by 2030 and the Victorian government also considering stronger targets.”

Solar Citizens CEO Claire O’Rourke said the 1.5 million Australians with solar on their roof were now a powerful lobbying group.

“Aussies love solar because it means they can take control of their power bills, save money and do their bit for the planet. More than 1.5 million Australians now have rooftop solar and they want to all governments – state and federal – to make it easier for other families to join them,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“South Australia and the ACT should be congratulated for looking after their residents. The pressure is now on for New South Wales and Victoria to play catch up.”

Of the states, South Australia (A) scored the highest grade followed by Tasmania (B), and Queensland (C), Western Australia (C) and Victoria (C) and NSW (D).

The territories could not be rated due to lack of comparable data but ACT was singled out for its strong leadership on renewable energy while NT performs poorly on a range of indicators and has no policies or targets related to renewable energy.