BRIEF –9 September 2009 – As US photovoltaic firm First Solar starts to build the world’s largest solar power station in China, the Greens have slammed the Rudd government’s feeble renewables policy.

The 2-gigwatt plant in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, is slated for completion by 2019 and is made possible by a gross feed-in tariff, a policy tool that Australia has failed to enact – with dire consequences for our renewable energy sector, according to Greens Senator Christine Milne:

“The gross feed-in tariff, which guarantees a fair market for renewable energy, is delivering gigawatts of zero emissions power and hundreds of thousands of jobs around the world, but in Australia the Government prefers photo ops to real policy.”

The Australian renewable energy sector has been hit hard in recent months by the global financial crisis with plans for a 470-megawatt solar plant in Victoria thrown into confusion after parent company Solar Systems went into receivership.

In a statement issued with the memorandum of understanding for the Ordos plant the Chinese government announced a new solar capacty target of 10-20GW by 2020, over the previous goal of 1.8GW.