Prime Minister rejects solar panels for Kirribilli House

19th March 2015
 Picture: Braden Fastier. Source: News Corp Australia

Nick Whigham reports at News.Com.Au (18/3/15):

"Tony Abbott is simply not interested in solar energy — even if it is gifted to him by a group of nuns. Because that is precisely what happened yesterday. One of Mr. Abbott’s pet policies in the past was the funding of chaplains to do the job of school councillors. His religiosity is no secret and given his Catholic background, you would think he’d be more willing to accept a gift from a group of nuns. However when a Christian organisation called Common Grace began a campaign to crowdsource 12 solar panels for Tony Abbott’s Kiribilli lodge, the Prime Minister’s office was less than receptive. After notifying the PM’s office of their good deed, they were disappointed by the fact the Mr. Abbott rejected the gift. ... Despite the PM’s unwillingness to install the solar panels, the Christian group were defiant, undeterred and intent on gifting the Prime Minister with something he has repeatedly undermined. Yesterday morning they decided to show up at his public office in Manly to deliver one of the solar panels in person. ...  In a statement released by Common Grace, Jody Lightfoot ... said that the rejection of the gift was 'symbolic' of the government’s stance on renewable energy."

Read the full story at: Braden Fastier. Source: News Corp Australia


This reminds me that a student I taught renewable energy at Swinburne returned to the United States, worked in the industry there and eventually was involved in installing PV on the White House.

In 1979 thirty-two solar thermal panels were installed by President Carter on the White House showing early leadership. The 'oil man', President Reagan, had them removed but solar (PV) panels have been reinstalled under a more enlightened leadership, as Beth Buczynski reports 9/5/14):

"As President Obama makes his way to California to preach the gospel of solar power, his words have become action back home in Washington D.C. After years of waiting, the White House solar array is now fully installed and has been switched on. Finally, the most important house in the nation has a rooftop solar power plant that reduces dependence on fossil fuels and sets an example for the rest of us. Early in his presidency, clean energy advocates encouraged Obama to replace the White House solar panels that were removed during the Reagan administration. ... The White House said the decision to resurrect the solar array originally installed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 was 'part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building' and an attempt to 'demonstrate that historic buildings can incorporate solar energy and energy efficiency upgrades', according to the Washington Post."

Read more: White House Solar Panels Fire Up for the First Time Since Jimmy Carter Left | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building 

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