News | 22nd Jul, 2010

Solar policy gets tick of approval from environmental group

Thursday, 22 July 2010

A environment group says the Victorian Government's new policies on solar power will make Victoria the most attractive state for large-scale projects.

Premier John Brumby yesterday announced Australia's first feed-in-tariff for large-scale solar projects.

A target has also been set for five per cent of the state's power to be solar generated by 2020.

Environment Victoria's Mark Wakeman says the changes now make large-scale solar production economically feasible.

"There are a number of companies that have proposals, that have put proposals into Government for Government funding, to the Federal Government," he said.

"This solar feed-in tariff makes it more likely that these projects would go ahead."

Mr Wakeman says it will reduce the state's reliance on polluting energy sources, such as coal.

"It will also help us diversify where our energy comes from," he said.

"At the moment nearly all of our electricity in Victoria comes from polluting power stations in the La Trobe Valley.

"By building solar stations in northern Victoria we can reduce our reliance on coal and therefore reduce our emissions."

But The State Opposition's energy spokesman Michael O'Brien has questioned whether the Government will meet the five per cent solar target.

"There's no guarantee they're actually going to meet that," he said.

"It's one thing to have a target, an aspiration, it's another thing to show how they're going to deliver the outcome."