83% Of Australians Believe New Houses Should Have In-built Solar Power Systems

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14th April 2010, 07:00am - Views: 766

Media release

EMBARGO for 14 April 2010

14 April 2010

83% of Australians believe new houses should have in-built solar power systems, 

according to new research

In new research* released today by SilexSolar, the only significant Australian-owned Australia-based manufacturer

of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and panels, and conducted by Galaxy Research, 83% of Australian homeowners

indicated they believe all new houses should have in-built solar power systems by 2015.

“This supports our belief that state and local government should ensure building codes mandate installations of

solar PV power in all new homes and offices,” said Dr Michael Goldsworthy, CEO of SilexSolar, which will be

officially launched today by The Hon. Ian Macdonald MP, Minister for State and Regional Development.

“And whilst the cost of solar is projected to reach grid parity by around 2013 according to the Clean Energy Council,

it is critical that governments close the financial gap for consumers and industry with best practice Feed-in Tariffs,

similar to what the NSW Government is providing for consumers,” continued Dr Goldsworthy.

“But Feed-in Tariffs are not just important for consumers. They have the potential to make an even greater

difference to society’s greenhouse gas emissions when applied to commercial and industrial developments. Solar is

a peak load power provider and it is during the day when peak load occurs, so the two are perfectly matched.

“By having Feed-in Tariffs in place, governments can help reduce the need for new power stations being built and

give the solar industry the kick start it needs to make solar Australians’ default power source.

“One of the major attractions of Feed-in Tariffs is that they allow domestic consumers to make money by

contributing power to the grid from their own solar power systems,” said Dr Goldsworthy. “An average Sydney

home can generate around $1,250 of revenue each year from a 1.5kW solar system. This makes the pay-back time

for a typical domestic solar power system less than three years.

“The pay-back time for domestic solar power systems will continue to decrease, as IPART (the Independent Pricing


Regulatory Tribunal) anticipates electricity price increases of up to 64% by 2013 in NSW alone as a result of

distribution network upgrade costs and the impact of a CPRS-style scheme. And even if the CPRS does not come to

fruition as proposed, IPART still anticipates electricity price increases around 45% in NSW. This is a situation that has

parallels across the country.”

A significant benefit of the launch of the Australian-owned and Australia-based SilexSolar is that it provides a

pipeline for Australian IP to be commercialised locally, rather than it going overseas as has happened in the past. 

Retention of Australian IP within Australia benefits the entire Australian economy and the development of solar

power industry, as well as providing a local career path for our scientists,” said Dr Goldsworthy.

Conservation Environment SilexSolar 3 image

“Retaining our ingenuity and IP must be a priority for Australia and is an area ripe for a reinvigorated approach to

be taken,” continued Dr Goldsworthy. “This is crucial if Australia to become a leader in solar power. The best

support the Federal Government can give is in encouraging development and retention of solar power IP here in

Australia through financial support and initiatives, as it is doing through the Solar Flagships program.”

SilexSolar has saved Australia’s only local solar panel manufacturing plant from shutting down, its parent company,

Silex Systems, has rescued a peak demand 150 plus MW solar power demonstration power plant in Victoria from

being abandoned and it is a clearly credible bidder for funding through the Federal Government’s Solar Flagships


“Australia has a wonderful opportunity to be a world leader in solar technology which will benefit all Australians.

The Australian solar power industry grew 366% in 2009 and the solar PV industry is expected to generate more than

USD$40 billion worldwide this year. 

“In Australia, SilexSolar is the company that will drive the growth needed  to bring the industry to the point of

critical mass where it does not need government assistance and where solar becomes standard for Australian

business and the entire community.”

[*A national study of Australian homeowners by Galaxy Research weighted to the latest ABS population figures,

with a sample of 1,274, conducted in April 2010, determined that 83% said that they either  ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’

believe that by 2015 all new Australian houses should have in-built solar power systems.]


Ends  -

Media contacts for interviews, photos and to attend today’s launch at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush, Sydney:

Karen O’Grady

02 9377 1125 + 0406 503 323 + karen.ogrady@bitecommunications.com 

Craig Pearce:

02 9377 1104 + 0438 003 430 + craig@bluegrass.com.au 

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