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Gas and oil debate ignores Western Australia’s solar potential

Debate around gas and oil development and the implications of Labor's Northern Territory tax plan misses the main question about Western Australia's energy future, The Greens said today.

"While the Premier attacks the Prime Minister for supposedly threatening his gas ambitions, and Kevin Rudd talks about making Perth an oil and gas headquarters, both Labor and the Liberals are ignoring Western Australia's huge solar potential," said Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam.

"Western Australia's flat topography and abundant sunshine makes it perfect for large scale solar development. Solar thermal plants can deliver round-the-clock electricity, and our eastern goldfields are particularly well suited to becoming a solar hub," said Senator Ludlam.

Senator Ludlam's Energy 2029 report provides the blueprint for meeting the power needs of the South West grid with 100% renewable energy by 2029. Senator Ludlam recently met with representatives of commerce and industry in Kalgoorlie to discuss the exciting opportunities presented by large-scale solar in the Greens' Solar Goldfields plan.

"Solar thermal power means clean energy round the clock. It means stable jobs in manufacturing, construction, and plant operation and maintenance. It means a supply of electricity that won't wreck the environment and won't run out.

"While the Liberals and Labor pursue polluting, finite energy sources that divide the community and damage the environment, the technology exists to deliver clean renewable power - and The Greens have the plan to make it happen in WA.*

"There are solar thermal plants operating around the world now that on their own can deliver the power needs of 30,000 homes during peak use. In Nevada a plant under construction will deliver enough electricity for 75,000 homes during peak use. That's one single power plant on its own.

"Labor and the Liberals are missing the big picture. Instead of squabbling about onshore vs offshore gas and tax incentives, we need to see leadership on the real energy debate - how will we deliver Western Australia's power needs without relying on polluting fossil fuels that will run out. The Greens Energy 2029 shows the way to do it, and we need to do it now."

Energy 2029 -

Solar Goldfields -

*The IEA's World Energy Outlook, recent NREL studies, the IIASA Global Energy Assessment, and the REN 21 Renewables Global Future Report - show that there is no technological barrier to achieving 100% renewable energy.


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