There was quite a buzz in the air as the event got going. The room was packed but the majority of people there were already solar converts. The idea was to galvanize the audience to spread the word, sign petitions in favour of a realistic Renewable Energy Target (RET), form alliances and keep working in their communities.
A number of speakers from industry specialists to community activists were on hand to share their stories. We learnt that the government might have inadvertently given solar a boost with their $20,000 tax write off for small business expenses.
These businesses could potentially use this write off to invest in solar. However, a number of threats to the expansion of solar power still exist. The paltry feed-in tariffs are not a great incentive. Even those who got in early and are on a more favourable rate will lose this soon. There is a possibility that electricity retailers could increase the fixed cost of electricity further undermining the uptake of solar.
Also on show at the even was one of Australia’s first electric-powered luxury cars – the Tesla. These vehicles are taking off around the globe but are still way beyond the reach of most people. With a range of approximately 440km and a charging network that is now being rolled out in Australia, the future looks promising. People were also excited to see the Zero electric motorcycle which is not only charged by solar panels, it can also be used as a battery to store excess solar energy.
The solar industry is growing exponentially. Have you joined the revolution or are you willing to take the risk of being left behind? Are you an early adopter or are you a laggard?