The federal Coalition government has announced $300,000 of grants to help 17 community groups in two South Australian cities install 320kW of rooftop solar on their buildings.
The funding, from round two of the Coalition’s Solar Towns program, will help sporting groups, charities and multi-cultural groups add the solar and help reduce their electricity bills (see full list below).
“The Solar Towns Program is an opportunity for communities to reap the benefits of the Turnbull government’s investment in renewable energy,” Hunt said in a statement.
Hunt said that the government was providing “over $15 billion in support for renewables and lower emissions.”
He cited the two large-scale solar plants in Broken Hill and Nyngan which he opened last week. Both plants were funded under the previous Labor government via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which the Coalition government is still trying to repeal.
This is despite the fact that ARENA recently shortlisted 22 solar projects to receive funding under a $100 million large-scale solar PV competitive round.
The renewable energy target, which was cut to 33,000GWh after the Coalition’s failed attempts to scrap it completely, is yet to produce any new investments since the Coalition government was elected in 2013.
Hunt, however, said solar was popular with households and businesses, “because the Australian government mandates more than $3000 in rebates for an average solar system. That’s about 30 per cent of the total cost of installation.”
He also noted that the federal budget provided small businesses with an immediate tax deduction for eligible assets valued up to $20,000 –including solar panels, solar hot water systems, heat pumps and storage.
Coalition Senator Sean Edwards, who is based in South Australia, said in the statement that he was “delighted” to see community groups benefit from the Turnbull government’s investment in renewable energy.
Edwards, an outspoken support of nuclear energy, has been a strident critic of subsidies for renewable energy.