News

Hogan’s seat in danger if Feds mess with solar subsidies

A CLEAN energy advocate has warned any tampering with the Renewable Energy Target by the Federal Government could see Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan lose his seat at the next election.

There has been mounting speculation the target, which helps subsidise rooftop solar and reduce the wholesale cost of electricity, will be diluted.

The target is only being reviewed at present, but senior Coalition figures, including the Prime Minister, are understood to be ideologically opposed to it, despite vowing to keep it in place at last year's election.

But the Total Environment Centre's Mark Byrne said any changes to the target would provoke a serious campaign in marginal seats by the renewable energy industry and environment groups.

By reducing the target, he said, "the government would be risking its electoral standing on the Northern Rivers".

There's been consistent polling that shows the overwhelming majority of Australian support renewable energy and the renewable energy target," Mr Byrne said.

"If it is significantly reduced or abolished, then the clean energy industry and environment groups will no doubt mount a major campaign to remind voters of that broken promise, and they would probably target marginal seats like Page at the next election."

Mr Byrne said about 20% of households on the Northern Rivers had solar panels and the industry was still in a growth phase.

Andy Turnbull from Lismore-based Nickel Energy, which sells solar panels to homes, businesses and schools from Coffs Harbour to Queensland, said solar sales were predicted to fall by 30-50% if the RET was diluted.

The Business Council of Australia is lobbying for changes to the RET and says because electricity demand is falling, renewable sources are actually forecast to be worth 27% of all electricity used by 2020, and are "crowding-out" existing, cheaper sources.

The Business Council of Australia argued in a submission that the RET was preventing a "level-playing field" between renewables and traditional sources.

In a brief response to questions about the target, Page MP Kevin Hogan said he supported the "20 per cent Renewable Energy Target by 2020" and wanted to ensure the local solar industry "continues to prosper".

Topics:  renewable energy target, solar power




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Six of 11 arrested during Strike Force Cuppa get bail

Police on the streets of Nimbin during Tuesday’s drug raid.

Lismore, Coffee Camp, Suffolk Park and Nimbin men released on bail

‘Gone surfing’: Maddog men shut up shop after 40 years

Founders of Maddog Surfboards John Morgan and Mark Plater have closed up shop after nearly 40 years.

John Morgan and Mark Plater closing iconic Byron business

Identify the man in the black baseball cap

An image of the man police wish to speak to.

Casino police are investigating a case of malicious damage

Latest deals and offers

Car crash at Alstonville

A crash at the intersection of the Bruxner Highway and Ballina Road involving a number of cars.

A car crash at the intersection of Bruxner Highway and Ballina Road.

Dash Cam of Slip in Snow

Even light snow can be hazardous.

Dash cam shows how easy it is to lose control in even light snow.

Chaos outside Istanbul Airport

Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, 28 June 2016. At least 10 people were killed in two separate explosions that hit Ataturk Airport.

Distress as cars escape Istanbul airport after bombing.

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?