The farming industry of the state of Victoria has criticized the local government’s legislation on solar energy for disadvantaging them while other states offer the industry a far better deal.
New solar energy technology has been demonstrated at the University of New South Wales. Developed in Sydney, the first ever silicon solar cell production will commence at the university with the help of funds granted from the Federal Government.
This technology is expected to have a positive impact on the local industry and help to renew it after the closure of the largest factory producing solar panels in the area (BP Solar).
With most of the current technology, there is the problem of shorter wavelengths which are reflected back by the phosphate ducting inside the panel. The new technology helps to optimise these ducts, allowing the panel to absorb more light while keeping the costs of production the same. [Read more...]
Solar energy doesn’t just reduce your electricity bills and help the planet; it can also make you money, up to 60c per kilowatt hour at present without you having to do anything.
The Australia Federal Government is introducing a Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme in 2009 which will no doubt contain many benefits for those who choose to use renewable energy sources.
Following in the footsteps of over 40 other countries around the world, the Australian Government will probably introduce a nationwide scheme to buy back your excess solar electricity and pay you for it.
In the 1970’s some Australian companies started to research solar energy for use in the home but unfortunately the technology just wasn’t there. At about the same time in China they were also researching solar energy and managed to produce some electricity producing solar panels.
A few Australian companies, believing in the future of solar energy, persisted in their research. Eventually one of the most successful was bought out by the Chinese, and is now the biggest producer of panels in China! How short sighted could Australian investors be?
Now with the dramatically revived interest in solar energy and the Government’s renewable energy plan offering grants and rebates many companies are jumping on the bandwagon to proclaim loudly “Green is Good”. Some of these companies are fleecing customers for the best part of $20,000 for a 1kw Grid Tie system, simply because the poor consumer can’t find another solar installer who has the time or resources to give him a competive quote!
There has never been a better time for an Australian household to switch to solar energy. In an effort to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions the Government has devised a system of grants and rebates to help you save money on your bills by making your home more cost effective and at the same time environmentally friendly.
Rebates and grants of $500 to $8000 are available according to your particular situation. These are primarily for solar heated hot water systems. To find out if you qualify then contact your local authority or the Australian Government website through the link below.
A Question came in from Paul in Adelaide, lat week.
“We recently had our solar system installed. If we opt to have an extra 5 panels (max 12 for ours) installed, is there a rebate system in place for the additions?”
The 5 panels are rated at 1kW total, so Paul has maxed out his rebate for the pre-July 2009 rebate system.
BUT the new ‘Solar Credits’ scheme is for systems up to 1.5kW, so can Paul claim the extra 0.5kW worth of solar credits after July 1 2009?
Unfortunately not. The solar credits scheme smallprint says:
A small outback town has taken the step toward sustainability by launching a new solar/thermal plant. Planned are 8000 solar panels, designed to generate power for 4500 households.
The type of technology to be used is a mixture of solar and thermal energy. The solar panels are used to heat implements, which in turn heat water. In this way, the project is turned into a traditional power plant. Other such technologies are planned for small towns throughout the rural areas.
Cloncurry. located in Queensland, has a population of 4000 people. The Australian government has pledged nearly a quarter of this $30 million project. This is supposed to be the first of many such experiments into the availability of towns that are far from the traditional grid to use what is available to them. In the future, many such small towns will be able to forego the high costs of connecting themselves to the energy grid and generate their own power. [Read more...]
When you buy a solar system in Australia you can apply for 2 upfront subsidies from the government:
(note: this all changes on July 1, 2009: read about the rebate changes here)
1. The $8000 rebate (for the 1st kW) assuming your household income is under $100k
2.Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)- works out at $600-$1200 per kW (the price changes over time)
The concept of the rebate is easy to understand – it is simply a handout from Mr Rudd to encourage solar power (can’t argue with that!).
The concept of RECs can be a bugger to get your head around. So here is my attempt at an explanation: