Solar Blackout: Barry O'Farrell talks down renewable energy … Silex Solar ends local manufacturing

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The O'Farrell Government's hostility to renewable energy has claimed another victim after Silex Solar decided to end local manufacturing of solar cells – and slash 30 jobs at its Western Sydney plant, Shadow Minister for Energy Luke Foley said today.

"This news is a loss for the entire nation," Mr Foley said.

"Silex Solar is the only company in Australia which manufactures solar cells – however its decision today is the inevitable result of chilling investment signals sent by Premier Barry O'Farrell.

"Barry O'Farrell promised during the campaign to support renewable energy, but ever since he was elected he has been at war with the sector.

"First Barry O'Farrell bungled the Solar Bonus Scheme – leaving 110,000 solar panel households in the lurch. Then he announced a review into the Solar Bonus Scheme's future which is taking far too long.

"Solar in NSW has literally been stopped dead in its tracks – and the uncertainty is driving companies like Silex to the wall.

"This week, the Premier redoubled his attack on renewable energy by declaring his personal antipathy to wind farms. The Premier sends one chilling signal after another – telling the clean technology industry it's not wanted in NSW and should go and base itself somewhere else.

"At this rate there is no chance the NSW Government will meet its own 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target.

"Barry O'Farrell needs to stop talking down renewable energy. We have boundless sunshine. We should be harnessing the sun's rays and the wind to develop a clean energy future for this State.

"Mr O'Farrell is on the wrong side of history."

  • This week Barry O'Farrell said that if it was up to him the State Government would not approve any more wind farms: “As I’m told, no new applications have been lodged, we haven’t approved any applications, and if I had my way we wouldn’t.” (Ray Hadley Show, Tuesday 16 August 2011)