WWF Welcomes $1B Investment in Australian-Made Solar Panels

The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia has welcomed the announcement of a $1 billion fund to grow Australia’s solar panel manufacturing industry.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is due to announce the investment today at the recently retired Liddell Power Station in the Hunter Valley.

“Bringing manufacturing of solar panels to Australia will help us to achieve the scale of renewable energy needed to meet a more ambitious emissions reduction target,” said Nat Burke, WWF-Australia’s Head of Regenerative Climate.

“To protect the places and species we love, we need to hold global heating to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. And to do that, we need a fast, ecologically-sound, and just transition to renewable energy.

“Today’s announcement is a big step in the right direction.”

WWF-Australia has been calling for greater investment in Australia’s renewable manufacturing as part of the Sunshot alliance with the ACTU, BCA and ACF.

While Australia has the world’s highest uptake of rooftop solar panels, only 1 per cent are currently made in Australia.

“Manufacturing these critical components onshore will enhance the resilience and independence of Australia’s energy system to future supply chain shocks,” said Mr Burke.

“If we’re going to achieve the renewables expansion required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, Australia needs to secure more reliable access to solar PV cells.”

Mr Burke said today’s commitment was a great example of Australian leaders embracing the economic opportunity of becoming a renewable energy superpower.

“Australia doesn’t need to choose between a healthy climate and a strong economy,” he said.

“A recent study by the Australian PV Institute showed how development of 5GW domestic solar photovoltaic manufacturing capability could create 4,000 direct, skilled, well-paid jobs and attract upfront investment of around $2.9 billion.

“With the right investments, places like the Hunter Valley can become centres of renewable-powered manufacturing and we can build a future that benefits our environment, communities and the economy.”

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