With Western Australia’s conditions well suited to solar power and over 220,000 solar power systems now installed in Western Australia, there is no denying our love for clean, green energy. However, with a change of government, you might have been wondering what the future holds for renewable energy and solar power in Western Australia since Mark McGowan and WA Labor won the recent state election. We take a look at the impact Premier McGowan’s election commitments might have on this important industry.
First up is his commitment to invest in innovative technologies for the state’s jobs future. Premier McGowan has earmarked $30 million to establish a new solar farm in Collie. This move, to position the area as an important player in the renewable power generation sector, is aimed at diversifying the region’s economy, which has long relied on nearby coalfields to survive.
“We will build a more sustainable future for Collie and surrounding towns by creating a diverse economy, supporting local business, developing skills and creating jobs,” Premier McGowan declared back in January 2017, as one of his election promises.
In the lead up to the election, WA Labor also committed to encourage research-intensive programs into renewable energy and battery technology at our universities. As huge supporters of renewable energy and particularly of battery technology, we’re pleased to see the Government is supporting this area of research and development.
Unlike other states, WA Labour has decided not to introduce a state-based renewable energy target. Instead, they plan to hold discussions with industry and the community to determine what is achievable and affordable.
When it comes to privatisation, Premier McGowan has made an ‘iron-clad guarantee’ that WA Labor will not sell the State Government-owned corporation Western Power to a private operator. The Premier claims that privatising Western Power would only lead to increased electricity prices and a reduction in services. However, this view has been challenged by Rod Sims, Chief of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, who recently told The West Australian that privatising Western Power would lead to lower electricity prices as a new owner would force the corporation to operate more efficiently. Mr Sims is of the opinion that the state’s strong regulatory regime would ensure that any savings made through privatisation would be passed onto consumers.
Given that Western Power poured more than $550 million into State Government coffers in 2015-16, it is not surprising that WA Labor is reluctant to sell this valuable source of revenue. Time will tell which approach is best for the people of Western Australia.
In the meantime, you can take greater control over your electricity bills by switching to solar. By installing a solar power system in your home and potentially pairing it with the latest in battery technology, you’ll have much more certainty over your energy supplies long into the future, regardless of which political party is in power.
For more information about securing your home’s energy resources, give us a call on 1300 73 93 55 or contact of one our solar power specialists online.