The Victorian government has announced a $1.24 billion funding package to install solar on 650,000 Victorian homes over the next decade. The deal has been labelled a game-changer and a breath of fresh air in the energy debate by leading charity Environment Victoria.

Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham said: “After years of tedious energy debates in Australia, this is the kind of leadership and vision we’ve been waiting for and shows that states can lead the way in responding to our climate and energy crises.

“This plan will make Victoria the leading state for solar installations nationally and will create an extra 5500 jobs in our state. Victorians will now be able to take control of their power bills. Every Victorian homeowner who wants solar power will be able to afford it under this plan.

“Every solar panel installed means less coal is burnt, so this plan is a massive win for our environment and will help Victoria meet its target of zero greenhouse pollution. Adding an extra 2000 megawatts of solar beyond what was expected to happen will lower energy bills for all Victorian households and businesses by pushing new clean energy into the power grid.

“The question now will be whether Matthew Guy’s Coalition will match this or whether they will maintain their pledge to slash support for solar. To date the Coalition has pledged to scrap Victoria’s renewable energy target if elected, which would drive up energy bills and destroy clean energy jobs. They also voted against fairer solar feed-in tariffs in Parliament.

“Victorians love renewable energy and see it as the obvious solution to cutting power bills and reducing greenhouse pollution. We’re looking forward to further announcements that fast-track Victoria’s clean energy future.

“In the coming months, we’ll be looking out for commitments to help renters get access to solar, make our homes more energy efficient, and bring online more battery storage. This could turn these 650,000 homes into the equivalent of a new utility-scale clean power station.

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