Wednesday, 24 July 2024
    Solar SunShot program: Australia’s path to solar manufacturing

    Solar SunShot program: Australia’s path to solar manufacturing

    Australia, boasting one of the world's highest rates of household solar panel adoption, faces a paradox: only 1% of these panels are made locally. 

    The government aims to reverse this trend with a $1 billion federal program, known as the Solar SunShot. In true sustainable fashion, it will transform the closed down Liddell coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley into a solar manufacturing hub. 

    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese mentioned Solar SunShot’s significance in securing high-paying jobs and aiding coal-dependent communities. He stated, "Liddell, of course, helped to power New South Wales... Now, the production that will occur there will help power New South Wales and Australia, and potentially have export potential as well." 

    The initiative aligns with Australia's abundant mineral resources essential for solar panel production. Vincent Allen, CEO of SunDrive, highlighted this advantage, noting that domestic production would reduce importation costs, which currently inflate solar panel prices. Allen said, "If you're in Australia and you buy a solar panel, about 15% of the cost is just to get it to Australia." 

    Bob Hawes, CEO of the Hunter Business Chamber, welcomed the plan's potential to rejuvenate local economies. However, he stressed the need for comprehensive skills training to support workers transitioning from coal to renewables.

    The program will collaborate with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to streamline grants and subsidies across the solar manufacturing supply chain. 

    Procurement Australia celebrates Australia's strides towards solar self-sufficiency . Our expertise in Energy solutions can support members to have meaningful conversations about reimagining sustainable supply chains, so if you’d like to discuss renewable energy supply chains as it pertains to your business, talk to one of our professionals today.