Poll finds majority would support party proposing solar on every rooftop

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Policies supporting rooftop solar PV uptake, innovation and development have been identified as a major vote winner in Australia, according to the results of a new survey.

The national poll, conducted by Essential, found that a majority of Australians were more likely to vote for a party with ambitious goals and innovation for solar PV and other renewables technology.

The poll found that 63 per cent of Australians would be more likely to vote for party with a policy to ensure solar is installed on every suitable home and commercial or public building – including hospitals and schools.

solar roofs australia

Another 60 per cent of respondents said they would vote for a policy that helped people get battery storage, to maximise the use of rooftop solar; and 59 per cent said they would support a party with a commitment to invest in large-scale solar and wind.

The survey results coincide with the latest data on solar PV growth in Australia, which reveals that January 2016 was one of the worst starts to a year for the industry since 2012 – even worse than January 2015.

The report shows rooftop solar installations in January fell across every state except for WA, and across almost every significant size bracket, excluding the 7-10kW range and for systems 2.5kW and less. Registrations for new rooftop solar installations in January 2016 slumped to just 47MW for the month.

Claire O’Rourke, the national director of Solar Citizens, who commissioned the research by Essential, said the poll results showed public demand for a new chapter in renewable and energy policy in Australia had reached new heights.

“Australians want political leadership that will deliver cleaner, cheaper energy from the sun – and they’re willing to use their vote to make it happen,” she said.

“For far too long there has been a disconnect between what Australians want and what our political leaders have delivered. The poll shows Australians know politicians will be listening in the lead-up to a Federal election. Australian voters want more ambitious solar policies firmly on the agenda.

“The way we use energy is changing, with families and businesses wanting to harness the power of the sun, store the clean energy for when it’s needed and reap the benefits of lower power bills and energy independence.

“A renewables boom is gathering momentum, with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimating renewable energy could deliver $A1.9 trillion of benefits to the global economy by 2030.

“Australians want political leaders who can help our nation become a global leader in renewables and solar, and grab its fair share of the jobs, economic growth and innovation,” she said.  

  • Beat Odermatt

    I am not sure why this is the case but it could be for the following reasons:
    1. People with suitable roofs and the ability to scrape enough money together have already installed rooftop solar. The potential loss of feed-in tariffs is preventing them from installing more capacity.
    2. People are uncertain what is going to happen with feed-in tariffs and electricity supply charges. Companies like SA Power Networks may have achieved their goals of slowing rooftop solar by trying to punish residents for with solar power.
    3. Fear of political changes. Some people hope that a new Government may re-introduce incentives and wait. Other people may fear that new Governments may punish people for having solar panels on their roof and introduce new taxes in form of more expensive connection charges.
    4. Some people do not see that rooftop solar as anything of importance or they just don’t have the money to buy a new installation.

  • Chris Fraser

    Several States will soon lose their compulsory Solar Bonuses (or FiTs). That’s gonna lift the lid on these perceived restrictions against getting more PV. For all who can, there’s gonna be PV on the north, east and west facing roofs – with AC inverters for mottled shady areas – and even PV on the south (depending on pitch this can stil earn you 85% of north). It all happens regardless of who is in power. Who knows, this expansion could also create new markets in dye-solar and BIPV, so it will all look very nice.

    • solarguy

      Most homes have a roof pitch of 22.5 degrees, if you put panels on due South roof the best you will get at 34 latitude 2 months either side of summer solstice is approx, 65% daily yield compared to North. Different in the tropics. Best to tilt them up to at least 10 degrees. more yield P.A.

      • Chris Fraser

        Correct. Please excuse typing error.

    • solarguy

      Oh, forgot to mention SFA in winter facing south at former latitude.

  • phred01

    got my families votes

  • DaveW.

    When is the next election? Good things can happen. Look what happened in Canada…

  • Imagine the quality of the systems that the project home builders would install if they were forced to put solar on every new roof. It would be a total nightmare.

    • Hugh Butler

      Probably not. Even if they put on products with a 5 year life, owners get used to low power bills. The cables are in so if they have to replace the expected cost of replacement will be less with lower panel cost. People only change for 1 of 3 reasons. They make money. They loose money or it’s the law.