There’s a false perception in Australia — perpetrated in part by the anti-solar brigade and their fellow travellers — that the only people who invest in domestic solar systems are those who are rich. According to this theory it is only those in the more affluent parts of Australia that have the resources to afford solar panels. Working and lower middle class families apparently don’t have them on their roofs because they are out of their price range. [Read more...]
Hint: It’s a bit more complicated than you might think!
By my reckoning 25% of people buying solar power systems want to save the planet as a priority. The other 75% want to save their bottom line and saving the planet is a nice side-effect.
I get a lot of emails saying: “Help! My bills are [insert large number here] dolars a quarter – what size solar system do I need?”
The answer to this question is quite longwinded – but if you want to understand whether a solar system is worthwhile for you financially – you need to understand this stuff! So I made a video to help explain. If you are considering buying a solar system I strongly recommend watching this:
[Note: Since I made this video the Victorian and QLD Feed In tariffs are no longer more generous than the rest of the country - they are both 8c per kWh at time of writing!]
I’ve been busy making videos that answer some common solar questions. Here I talk about Feed In Tariffs and what to do if your nasty energy retailer wants to punish you for going solar…
Transcription below for those who prefer to read: [Read more...]
The Victorian government has just announced that their FIT has immediately been slashed from 25c per kWh to 8c per kWh.
Basically if you haven’t already paid a deposit on your solar system, you can’t claim the 25c FiT any more.
The details are a bit hard to get out of the Vic pollies at the moment. For example the 8c scheme starts on Jan 1 2013. So what happens to all the electricity a new solar system exports until then?
Also they say:
“The tariff will then be adjusted by the government each year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 based on the wholesale electricity price, before moving to a fully floating market price in 2017.”
Anyone care to hazard a guess as to what that actually means?
After a week which saw Opposition Leader Tony Abbott perform more gaffes, backflips and nonsensical quotes than the average Barnum and Bailey circus, your columnist thought it high time to check out The Man’s policy on clean energy. This was a bit more difficult than first expected due to the fact that Big Tony, and his front bench colleagues….er… don’t seem to have a properly functioning clean energy policy to present to the Australian people. [Read more...]
One of the key sub-themes that tends to elbow its way through these SolarQuotes weekly columns is the understating, or inability to recognise, of the potential of solar energy in Australia. Time after time we at SolarQuotes HQ are forced to report on cuts in support from slow-moving and slow-thinking state governments. The bad news is not restricted to the states either with influential Canberra pollies such as Martin “Fossil Fuel” Ferguson bemoaning the alleged lack of growth in the solar sector.
This wouldn’t be so bad except that old Fossil Fuel is Minister for Energy and Natural Resources! [Read more...]
News on the international solar front is not good this week solar fans, with rumblings of a trade war between China and the EU.
The dispute revolves around German company SolarWorld AG which has asked the European Union to investigate allegations of dumping by Chinese-based solar firms. Instead of keeping their heads down and riding out the quarrel, Chinese firms Yingli Green Energy, Suntech Power Holdings Co., Trina Solar and Canadian Solar (which operates in the country) have come charging out of their corner, swinging punches like a drunken flyweight. [Read more...]
Unsurprising news this week that solar feed-in tariffs in Queensland will be cut from one of the country’s most generous (0.44c per kilowatt hour) to 0.8 cents per kilowatt hour has led the solar news this week in Australia.
Regular readers of this column may be expecting your correspondent to fly off into an anti-state government tirade about favouring earth-destroying fossil fuels over the renewable energy industry. [Read more...]
A couple of renewable energy reports released recently have shown how important solar power is to the country and outlined (again) its major potential as an energy source. Unfortunately the studies also reveal how much our politicians still have a lot of catching up to do to reach the general consensus held by most Australians.
Firstly the results of the 100 Percent Renewable poll in which over 40 groups canvassed the opinions of around 12,000 Australians over renewable energy. The results were an extraordinary 94 percent of those polled believe that the government should do more to assist the construction of big solar plants in the country. [Read more...]
As Greens leader Senator Bob Brown bowed gracefully out of politics this week, news of the latest milestone in the construction of Australia’s largest solar farm shows he is leaving Australian politics a far more supportive place for solar energy than he found it.
Despite some sniping from political enemies both in and out of Parliament (including a predictable diatribe from a well-known Opposition wingnut saying that Senator Brown’s legacy will be the carbon tax), opinion from commentators was that he was that rare political animal: an honest representative with a clear vision. This was particularly so on renewable energy. [Read more...]