SHASA is a Eurobodalla-based community organisation with the goal of achieving a low carbon Eurobodalla. Eurobodalla's biggest source of emissions comes from electricity consumption. SHASA has run solar bulk buys which have helped households with sufficient funds to cover the upfront costs to install rooftop solar. SHASA have also been able to assist a small number of community organisations to get rooftop solar through grants and sponsorship.
Despite SHASA's efforts, we still have less than 20% of Eurobodalla households with rooftop solar and 80% of our electricity still being provided by coal-fired power stations – the single biggest contributors to emissions.
SHASA Chair, Kathryn Maxwell said “SHASA believes that the commitment by NSW Labor to offer up to $2,200 per household for 500,000 NSW families to install solar will enable far more families to enjoy the significant financial benefits that come with rooftop solar. These 500,000 families will no longer have to dread their power bills and will be assisting to make the grid more robust and reduce our reliance on coal.”
The NSW Labor Party has also announced that it will establish a new State Owned Corporation to deliver a further 1 gigawatt of renewables and storage. They would also use reverse auctions (similar to existing successful ACT and Victorian programs) to build 6 gigawatts of renewable energy with storage. SHASA considers this will be the most effective way to reduce electricity prices and minimise price spikes during heat waves.
To support the renewables industry NSW Labor Party will also provide free TAFE training in a Certificate IV in renewable energy.
The NSW Liberals have announced they will offer interest free loans for rooftop solar if elected. SHASA believes there is a role for no interest loans, but only as part of a wider suite of policy measures to encourage solar uptake by broad cross sections of the community.
Kathryn concluded by saying “SHASA is very pleased that the need to increase the uptake of renewables is a key issue in the NSW election. We need NSW to be a leader, not a laggard, in helping all regions, including the Eurobodalla, to move to a low carbon economy.”
Above: install of solar on the Red Door Cafe, Anglican Parish