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20% of solar panels could be Australian made – Bowen

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The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen believes the government’s future made in Australia policies could ultimately see 20 percent of Australia’s solar PV panel needs satisfied by domestic production.

Bowen was speaking on ABC Adelaide where visited Australia’s only solar panel manufacturer, Tindo Solar which has a one percent market share today.

He also visited 5B’s Adelaide factory (pictured) – the company produces prefabricated solar farms which are easily rolled out on site at remote locations, avoiding costly installation procedures.

Bowen said South Australia had a very important role to play in the Future Made in Australia Policy.

Bowen said: “South Australia is already home to two great Australian companies – Tindo and 5B – which have a presence here but have been doing it tough in international circumstances in relation to manufacturing when other countries have been supporting renewable energy manufacturing.

“And they stand to be very important players in our Future Made in Australia plans.”

Bowen talked to the companies ‘about how we’re going to roll it out’.

The Minister acknowledged Australia would not compete with China on price, but on innovation, availability of natural resources and the ability to harness the renewable energy in Australia.

“We’ve put 60 million solar panels on our roofs in the last decade. We need to put another 60 million on in the next six years.

“And I don’t really think it’s sustainable or a good idea to have one per cent of those made in Australia on an ongoing basis.”

Asked what percentage of solar PV panels were likely to be manufactured in Australia Bowen said: “Around 20 per cent in ideal circumstances.

“And, of course, you know, we have never said that we can make all we need here or that we can make every bit of the supply chain or, you know, do everything.

“And, indeed, what we want is a more diverse supply chain we want to be making more things here.”

Further reading:
Tindo Solar plans $100m solar PV panel gigafactory
5B begins construction of solar PV pilot production line

Picture: 5B

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