Big push for big solar

BRIGHT IDEA: Bathurst Community Climate Action Network members launch their Big Solar campaign. 	033012solar
BRIGHT IDEA: Bathurst Community Climate Action Network members launch their Big Solar campaign. 033012solar

BATHURST’S leading environmental group has launched a campaign calling on Calare MP John Cobb to support a $10 billion fund for renewable energy.

Bathurst Community Climate Action Network (BCCAN) launched its Big Solar campaign at the recent Bathurst Region Farmers’ Market.

Spokesman Bob Hill said it was “crazy” that the sunniest country on earth was not making greater use of the sun to provide “large amounts of safe, clean electricity”.

He said BCCAN members had surveyed residents at the farmers’ market and found strong support for all forms of renewable energy, including solar, wind, wave, tidal and geothermal.

“A number of the respondents had been impressed by examples of solar farms overseas,” Mr Hill said.

“Over the next few months BCCAN will be surveying residents of Calare electorate and sending the results to Mr Cobb.

“Our fossil fuel powered grid is charging us more and more every year for electricity, so we need technologies such as big solar that can provide affordable power into future.

“We know that big solar can bring lots of new jobs and investment to our region, so it’s time to get on with the job.”

Mr Hill said the cost of solar would come down with further research and economies of scale.

“It is time for a bi-partisan approach to supp-orting renewables instead of the sort of political squabbling and government stopping and changing that has caused havoc to businesses in the renewable industry and wastes taxpayer money,” he said.

“Solar thermal plants with storage facilities are providing electricity day and night in places like Spain right now.

“Why are people in Bathurst paying for coal and gas when we could power ourselves with the sun, which is always free?

“It is important for a rural based party like the Nationals to get behind solar energy and support the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation which is being established to help finance new renewable energy projects in rural areas.

“We’re calling on John Cobb to put aside party politics and help get to work on big solar. We want to see bipartisan support for this crucial nation-building infrastructure.”