No sunshine budget for Australian state with sun surplus.

Federal Government commitments to sustainable energy have disappointed the Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA).

Federal Government commitments to sustainable energy have disappointed the Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA).

In December 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said "It's time for Australia to begin a solar revolution, a renewable energy revolution and we've got to fund it for the future."

In the May 2009 Budget, the Federal Government earmarked more funds for the ‘renewable energy revolution'.

On 28 April 2010 the Prime Minister said "In the short term you'll see the government roll out accelerated implementation of our renewable government's energy plan for Australia," he said.

However, the May 2010 budget has only offered recycled funding - the Rudd Government has yet to back in any substantive way new large scale renewables in Australia.

According to a media release by Minister Ferguson following the 2010 Budget, confirmation of funding for Round One of the Solar Flagships Program will not occur until the first half of 2011.

In the meanwhile, the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy funding for medium sized solar projects under the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program commits less than $100 million to projects.

‘This is one occasion where recycling doesn't help,' says Prof Ray Wills, Chief Executive of WA SEA. ‘We need visionary leadership and strong commitment from Government to support renewable energy developments across Australia, and recycled funding sources won't deliver.'

‘It is also incredibly frustrating that of the 15 solar projects that have been named under the Solar Flagship Program, the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program; and the Australian Solar Institute, not a single project was from Western Australia. Western Australia's renewable energy sources are world class and the solar energy sources are the best in Australia,' says Prof Wills.

‘If projects are to show what is possible, surely at least some projects should be placed where the best possible resources can be found?'

‘Australia's growth is being underwritten by the resources sector - we must ensure that growth is sustainable, and work to ensure that it is powered by energy that does not grow Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.'

‘Government must ensure Australia is positioned to take advantage of global investment in new energy of the 21st century - one that will ultimately prove to be sourced from renewable energy, not based on the depletion of non-renewable energy sources that will increase in price and fuel inflation,' says Prof Wills.

WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) Media Release - 12 May 2010

Editors notes:
1. Minister Ferguson media release -
2. The Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) is a chamber of enterprises has a growing membership of over 300 industry members from a diversity of businesses, and the largest state-based industry body of its kind in Australia.
3. WA SEA bringing you the Energising SE Asia Conference 23-36 March 2011, Perth.

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