All solar fans’ eyes were turned to the budget this week as Treasurer Wayne “The Knife” Swan brought down his sixth budget (gee doesn’t time fly Swanny?). So how did solar energy (and renewables in general) fare in the Budget? Did we do OK ? Or was it a case of solar energy being once again the target as cuts are made? [Read more...]
As the Federal Budget approaches, renewable energy supporters — including solar power fans — tend to get a bit twitchy. You know the deal folks, Julia “The Ranga Boss Lady” Gillard tells Wayne “The Knife” Swan that we’re not getting enough revenue from the carbon tax and to go find some more.
The Knife then goes through the options: Tax polluters more? Pop round Gina “The Big G” place with the hat asking for more shekels Oliver Twist-style? Try another, fairer, mining tax? [Read more...]
Well the dust has settled on the federal Labor leadership challenge that wasn’t with Julia “The Ranga” Gillard announced the winner after Kevin “The Piker” Rudd refused to show up for battle.
Actually it was less a leadership struggle than a complete shemozzle and the ructions within the Labor Party following the events will be felt for years, if not decades, to come. The immediate result is a host of ministers felt the need to resign their commissions due to their support for the The Nerdy One. You really couldn’t make this up if you tried, though the soap opera holds promise. Matthew Newton as Kevin Rudd? [Read more...]
Sometimes the mind boggles at the sheer scale of the solar energy revolution in Australia. A recent finding by SunWiz, the respected solar industry intelligence providers, has pointed to a potential massive increase in solar power generation in the country.
Putting aside the fact that “solar industry intelligence” brings to mind balaclava-clad, ASIO-style sleuths operating behind the lines on people’s rooftops collecting solar information, the findings are great news. According to the company’s report, the Australian PV market could crack a substantial 10 gigawatts — up from our current 2.5 GW — as early as 2017. [Read more...]
How serious is the West Australian Labor Party’s offer to open up the state’s renewable energy market should it win power in this month’s election? Superb, groundbreaking idea to include all in the solar power revolution? Or as one of our Facebook Page readers succinctly put it; is it a case of “promises, promises”? [Read more...]
As I sit here writing this week’s rant, we are (it seems) in the middle of one of the worst heatwaves ever to strike the continent. Characterised by indecently high temperatures, bushfires and breathless “on the spot” news reporters, the harsh weather is crossing the land from west to east, north to south. [Read more...]
Recent efforts by solar activists to force the South Australian government to replace the current coal-fired station at Port Augusta with a solar thermal power station appear to have borne some fruit. Last week SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis announced the setting up of an inquiry into the feasibility of building a solar thermal power plant to replace the ageing fossil fuel plants that currently supply 40 percent of SA’s energy. [Read more...]
One of the chief criticisms fossil fuel narks level against solar power is its alleged inability to provide baseload power. This is defined as the minimum amount of energy needed over a 24 hour period to satisfy the utility’s customers. What about cloud cover? This is the critics’ plaintive cry and rallying point as they call for further subsidies for their beloved, earth-destroying coal and oil fuelled energy sources.
They have a point though, what of cloud cover (known as solar intermittency) reducing solar’s effectiveness? According to the aforementioned narks, solar power is unable to provide energy reliability due to this factor preventing the full exploitation of the sun’s energy potential and therefore cannot be considered a reliable form of energy. [Read more...]
Well done Dubbo solar power installers!
If you read the mainstream press in Australia, you’d think the towns and suburbs with the biggest average take up of solar panels would be the well-to-do inner city suburbs of our major cities. Perhaps Vaucluse, Toorak or the leafy eastern suburbs of Adelaide?
Obviously they’d be more likely where wealth is concentrated right?
Wrong (as you may have guessed by the headline!). In a sign that solar energy is becoming more accessible to mainstream Aussie folk, a recent survey by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) found the central-west NSW city of Dubbo to have the highest average percentage of houses with solar panels.
Good news stories about the Australian solar industry have been as rare as hen’s teeth lately. With the taking of the cudgels by state governments to the highly successful feed-in tariffs (can someone please explain that again — just one more time!), to the slow sinking of the fed’s Solar Flagships program, to the march out the door of Australian solar manufacturers, its been a grim time for solar fans.