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.
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.