Call for stable policies

November 01, 2017

Attending the new Energy Roundtable at the Shepparton Showgrounds are Geoffrey Thompson orchards managing director Garry Parker and Ardmona orchardists Peter Hall and Andrew Plunkett.

Tasmania’s west coast is the worst place in Australia for a solar farm but it is still better than the best place in Germany, according to Zen Energy chair Ross Garnaut.

Professor Garnaut — a distinguished economist whose career has been built around the analysis and practice of policy connected to development, economic policy and international relations in Australia, Asia and the Pacific — was speaking at the Northern Victorian New Energy Roundtable in Shepparton last Thursday.

‘‘It’s tremendously important to have stability in policy for long periods,’’ Prof Garnaut said.

‘‘Recently we have had constant changes to policy and we need to change that with bi-partisan support that is built around sound policy.’’

After he completed his presentation, Prof Garnaut was asked about the role hydrogen will play in the renewable energy sphere.

‘‘Hydrogen is important in the global sense, particularly for countries who have little options for renewables,’’ he said.

Ardmona orchardist Peter Hall took exception to comments Prof Garnaut said about using solar energy and premium prices for fruit.

‘‘I’ve sold fruit for 35 years and never once has someone said ‘Peter, I’ll give you 10 per cent extra if you stick some solar panels on your roof’,’’ Mr Hall said.

‘‘All they’re interested in is price comparison.

‘‘I’d love for him to give me the names and numbers of the people who said that and I’ll call them.’’

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