Next event: Public Meeting

18 11 2009

RSVP on the Facebook event profile here, or join our Facebook group here.





Next campaign events + fact sheet

3 11 2009

nov16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 solar systems fact sheet

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    • The building of the first large-scale solar power plant in Australia is in doubt after its owner, Solar Systems, declared that due to lack of private investment, the company faces collapse.
    • Over 100 Solar Systems workers have already been made redundant. They are owed $4 million in entitlements.
    • A new production line (near completion) capable of producing hundreds of solar receivers per week, has been installed in the $23 million Abbotsford factory. Each receiver is capable of powering 30 – 50 homes.
    • Solar Systems had the contract to build the Mildura power plant. Construction would have provided around 950 green jobs and there would have been around 50 permanent green jobs running the plant. In addition, thousands of extra jobs would be reinforced in a wide variety of component making fields.
    • The Mildura solar power plant would have powered 45,000 homes (the entire Mildura region) and saved 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas per year. Siting the power station near where power is used would reduce transmission loss of 15% from the Latrobe Valley to Northern Victoria. Solar power has the benefit of peak power on hot sunny days, which coincides with high electricity demand. Storage solutions using hydrogen are being developed for night time power.
    • No other company in Australia has the new solar technological capacity to build the Mildura plant if Solar Systems doesn’t. Solar Systems is the world leader in concentrated photo-voltaic solar power. Its photovoltaic solar receivers are 36% efficient compared with 15% efficiency on standard household solar panels, with this efficiency had been increasing by about one percent each year.
    • $125 million was pledged to the project both from the federal government and the state government. Only $500,000 has been delivered to Solar Systems. The first milestone of the project—to build a 140-kilowatt demonstration field—was achieved on time in October last year. The rest of the funds are tied to milestones when the power station ramps up to full output in 2011 and 2013. The whole project was expected to cost roughly $420 million
    • The 3 other proposed solar projects planned for Australia are based on the same funding model, of private sector run with around one third government funding, these could easily face simlar funding problems. The Solar Systems Mildura project is by far the most advanced proposal to date. If not this project, and this factory, then when and where will the first large scale solar power plant be built in Australia?
    • Solar Systems has built functioning power systems in three remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. Together they save 420,000 litres of diesel and 1550 tonnes of greenhouse emissions each year. They have also removed the need for daily journeys to buy diesel in some of the most disadvantaged communites in Australia. The future of these plants is in doubt if Solar Systems is liquidated.
    • What is the campaign demanding? We demand that the government immediately intervenes to guarantee (i) that the Solar Systems factory in Abbotsford remains open, (ii) that the redundant workers are reinstated and, (iii) that a large scale solar power plant is built in Mildura.




“Dark day for solar” – article on Eureka Street

2 11 2009

Australian website Eureka Street has published an article by Greg Foyster which details the hypocrisy of the Government’s refusal to offer financial backing to Solar Systems. The article raises several examples of companies that the Government has bailed out following financial collapse, including fossil fuel and industrial smelter companies.

The Government’s position is eloquently summed up in the following quote, excerpted from Foyster’s article:

Our politicians suffer from a sort of carbon-induced myopia. Their obsession with digging up fossilised carbon blinds them to our nation’s other abundant energy resource: sunlight.

Obsession? Blinded? Seems like there’s another layer of Government hypocrisy going on here, given that Federal MP Lindsay Tanner is on the record for saying that greenies are “obsessed” with solar energy.

Have your say about the issues at the next Save Solar Systems action, where we will be protesting outside Lindsay Tanner’s Melbourne office during the week when the CPRS will be debated in parliament.

When: 12:30 pm Monday 16 November
Where: Lindsay Tanner’s office, 280 King Street, Melbourne 3000





Campaign organising meetings – new time and venue

1 11 2009

Hi,

For those of you who are interested in playing an integral role in the campaign, you are most welcome to attend our regular organising meetings.

We are pleased to announce that the convenient new venue for our meetings is Curtin Hotel, opposite Trades Hall on Lygon Street, Melbourne.

We will continue to meet on Sundays as always. The meetings will now kick off later in the day, at 4:30 pm.

Our group consists of a diverse bunch representing various value systems and affiliations. We welcome newcomers from all walks of life.

Hope to see you there!





Media release: Hundreds to rally over Government failure to support solar energy as administration deadline for company Solar Systems expires

30 10 2009

MEDIA RELEASE 30 October 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hundreds of people are expected to rally outside the State Parliament building today to demand government assistance to Solar Systems as the company’s administration period comes to a close. Solar Systems was contracted to manufacture solar arrays for Australia’s first large scale solar project, a 154 MW solar power plant proposed for Mildura which would have been capable of powering 45,000 households.

Former Solar Systems employee David Turner said that the barriers to transitioning to a renewable energy future are political – rather than technological.

“Solar Systems is the world’s leading concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) electricity producer, with large scale solar power stations operating in the field since 2003. Engineers have already largely solved the technological problems that large scale solar CPV faces, the Government must now show the foresight to commit the framework that solves the social and economic barriers that renewables contend against in Australia,” he said.

Sana Bau from the Save Solar Systems campaign said that the climate crisis demands investment in renewable technologies.

“The coal industry is set gain billions in taxpayer funded compensation when the CPRS comes into effect. The $125m committed to Solar Systems pales in comparison, yet the Government won’t spare this amount,” she said.

“Australia has the highest per capita emissions in the world. However, Australia could start to redeem its track record by supporting the development of effective, demonstrated technologies. Solar Systems is at the head of its field for renewables.”

Matthew Wright, Beyond Zero Emissions campaigner said that Solar Systems technology is of enormous value to Australia and the world.

“World leading technology from Solar Systems has a demonstrated track record. Australia must take advantage of its home grown technology to help this nation – and the world – transition to a decarbonised energy future,” he said.

Chris Breen from the Save Solar Systems campaign said that renewables are a better solution to climate change than emissions trading.

“Stuff the CPRS, build the Mildura Solar Power plant. It is likely that building the Mildura solar power plant will have more impact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than Labor’s carbon trading legislation,” he said.

He added, “Instead of supporting renewable energy jobs, Victorian energy minister Peter Batchelor now intends to jail climate change protesters for up to two years for trespass onto coal-fired power stations.”

Save Solar Systems rally – story and photo opportunities

Where: In front of Parliament House, Melbourne 3000

When: Friday 30 October 2009, 5:30 pm





Rally THIS FRIDAY (30 October) Parliament House

28 10 2009

Rally #3 is happening this Friday, 5:30 pm at the front of Parliament House, Bourke Street.

Make sure you do the following:

  1. Bring yourself
  2. If you can’t make it – for good reasons – tell everyone you know to come along
  3. Bring your friends and family
  4. Bring placards, costumes, banners etc. Be creative and express yourself!
  5. Be prepared to make some noise about impending collapse of Solar Systems (and the crap reasons which led to this)

Register here to show that you’re coming and invite your friends.

Speakers will include former Solar Systems Employee David Turner, Beyond Zero Emissions campaigner Matthew Wright, Nick from GetUp!, and Chris from the Save Solar Systems campaign.

We will be marching as part of this demo, so appropriate footwear is a must.

Look forward to seeing you all there!





Press overview of last rally

19 10 2009

For those of you that couldn’t make it to our October 11 rally, details of the event have been summed up here.