The Australian Greens have unveiled a new policy that would help cut local government energy bills by fitting council buildings with solar.
The new policy announced by the Greens on Monday would allow solar companies to install PV panels on local government council buildings and infrastructure, as well build new solar car parks and shades at community centres.
“Council can offer up the roofs of its libraries, swimming pool buildings and bus depots, in exchange for cheaper power bills,” said Greens deputy leader and climate spokesperson Larissa Waters
Waters, who was to discuss the “Shading Our Suburbs” plan in detail at the Solar Citizens Political Forum at QUT today, said it was an example of the “proactive, positive work forward-thinking local governments can do to be part of the solar-powered economy.”
The announcement follows the release, also on Monday, of results from a survey commissioned by Solar Citizens, which found that a majority of Australian voters wanted stronger solar policies from the major parties, to support rooftop PV growth and innovation.
It also coincides with the latest data on solar growth in Australia, showing that 2016 is off to an even worse start than last year, with January marking the worst month for volume of PV installations in four years.
Ben Pennings, a Brisbane Lord Mayoral candidate from the Queensland Greens says the plan would not only encourage solar PV installations, but would also invite tenders for new structures for solar panels that created shade.
“For example, solar companies could build solar panel shade structures for car parks at Council’s swimming pools to run the power-hungry pumps,” he said.
“It will mean fewer families getting into hot cars after cooling off at the pool.
“With solar technology, including battery storage, developing so rapidly, this is a chance to provide more local jobs in the solar industry,” Pennings said.