Friday, February 18, 2011

A victory of sorts: $100 million reinstated to the Solar Flagships Program

I recently wrote about how many of the budget cuts to pay for flood and cyclone rebuilding were coming from climate change and clean energy programs. Now in a victory of sorts The Greens have convinced Labour to reinstate $100 million dollars into the Solar Flagships Program in turn for them supporting the flood levy.

This is important as the Solar Flagships program is designed to get large scale solar power up and running in Australia and appeared (to my semi-informed opinion) to be the least defensible of all the climate related budget cuts. We should not forget however, that the majority of the climate change and clean energy budget cuts will remain.

So what does it all amount too? The optimist in me hopes the cuts were because Labour thought they were cutting inefficient programs made less necessary by the looming carbon price. The pessimist in me wonders how much Labour actually care about transitioning to a clean energy, low carbon economy. While my inner cynic wonders if Labour, knowing they would need to cut a deal with The Greens to get the flood levy through, purposely proposed climate related cuts to ensure The Greens would come to the table. A victory of sorts.

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