Stop rushed new QLD solar rules from ruining renewable energy industry

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In what appears to be an underhand way for the dirty fossil fuel industry to slow down our sunshine state's transition to renewable energy, the Queensland Government have rushed new legislation through Parliament that will drive up the cost of renewable energy and will result in many apprentices and labourers losing their jobs.

The new regulation means that the locating, mounting, fixing and removing of solar installations above 100 kW will now need to be performed by licensed electricians. Anna Freeman, the Clean Energy Council’s Director of Energy Generation, said “Not even an electrical apprentice will be able to handle and attach an unconnected solar panel, so the opportunities for apprentices to work in the solar industry are going to be slashed. If the Queensland Government continues to persist with this legislation regulation that will kill off many clean energy apprenticeships." 

Estimates from solar businesses are that the cost of installing commercial projects will increase by up to 20 per cent, delaying the payback period for businesses, schools and charities, making many projects unviable. Combined with the effect on large-scale solar farms, these changes will slow the installation of solar across the state and force businesses to continue to rely on coal-fired electricity generation.

Members of Parliament in the UK have just this morning passed a historic motion declaring an “environment and climate emergency”. Greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power generation are contributing to this climate emergency, causing an immediate and direct threat to life on our planet and fuelling the 6th mass extinction of biodiversity in our history. We cannot let vested coal interests and unions pressure the Queensland Government into slowing down the renewable energy revolution with such extreme and unnecessary legislation.

We are calling on the Queensland Parliament, the Palaszczuk Government and the state industrial relations Minister, Grace Grace to delay this regulation from coming into effect on 13th of May and undertake a proper consultation process with the solar industry and the Clean Energy Council so that a less damaging approach can be found to the Government's apparent concerns around the handling of solar panels.