Australia is becoming a laughing stock. The country blessed with some of the most abundant renewable energy resources on earth is rapidly squandering our poll position in the race to a clean energy future.

A friend of mine just returned from the PV Japan conference where he said people were asking if it is true that Australia just closed the only Solar PV manufacturing plant – while other countries are building turnkey solar PV manufacturing plants in record time. He guessed that it was only the politeness of Japanese culture that stopped people from laughing out loud.

We have developed a lot of the technologies that are underpinning a renewable energy boom in other countries.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports this week that China is putting up the great green wall to make sure that domestic renewable energy companies get the support they need to dominate the rapidly expanding market for renewable energy.

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It’s embarrassing. Australia is stuck in a quarry mentality. We still don’t have decent renewable energy legislation and the CPRS will do nothing to drive renewables.

If we are to get serious about renewable energy industry development, we need the renewable energy target in place, and we need is a strong, national feed-in tarrif to drive investment in all renewable technologies – not just household PV. And we need it soon. Otherwise we’ll just be buying it all in from China, Japan, the US and Germany. Sound familiar?