The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,536 Australians about government support to assist farmers to harvest solar energy and sell it directly to clients.
Respondents were asked if they support allowing farmers who generate wind or solar power on their farms to sell it directly to other landholders.
· Overwhelming majority of Australians (76%) support farmers selling energy directly to their neighbours, including 38% who strongly supported the proposal
· Less than one in ten respondents (8%) oppose farmers selling energy directly to their neighbours, including only 2% who are strongly opposed
The poll findings will be released in full at today’s “Power to the Paddock” Conference being held by the Agri Energy Alliance at the Adams Distillery in Perth, Tasmania. Key note speakers include Simon Holmes a Court and Ben Oquist.
“It is not surprising that the power to paddock plan is overwhelmingly popular with voters. Power to the Paddock makes it viable for farmers to invest in large scale solar. It won’t just benefit farmers, the generation when distributed across the state, will help stabilise the grid and reduce energy transmission loss that occurs when power travels over longer distances. It’s these types of innovative solutions that rural communities sorely need,” said Leanne Minshull, director of The Australia Institute Tasmania.
“In a nutshell this will be the first project that allows farmers to produce power and use it across their properties and only pay for the distance it has travelled across the grid,” said Mark Barnett, Founder of the Agri-Energy Alliance.
“The plan will also stimulate in excess of $200Million in private investment and put that in the hands of individuals and not the big power companies.
“More generation owned by more people creates more supply. This will lower prices, make Tasmania more resilient and more robust. When regional Tasmania thrives, all Tasmania’s thrives.”
“Nationally, this would make Tasmania the first state to take the first step towards a real deregulated energy system where power is not just generated and sold by power companies,” said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute.