Solar Panel Rebate To Be Phased Out From 1st of January 2017

solar rebate ending

The projected solar rebate for a 5kW system in Zone 3 with a $37 STC price.

The solar rebate which currently reduces the cost of rooftop solar in Australia will be phased out with the first reduction starting in less than 8 months on the 1st of January 2017. The rebate will reduce by one fifteenth of its current amount on the first day of each new year until 2030 and will end on the 31st of December that year. At the start of 2017, the rebate of $3,990 that most Australians would receive at the moment for a 5 kilowatt rooftop solar system will fall by around $266 down to $3,724. The phase out encourages Australians to install rooftop solar sooner rather than later. [Read more…]

Think tank predicts end of fossil fuel in a decade


No fossil fuels from 2026?

Most supporters of the clean energy revolution have never wavered in their belief that renewables will be the dominant energy source of the future. The only question is how long before we wean ourselves off fossil fuels.

Now a think tank based in the United Kingdom has had a stab at answering this $64 question by predicting that fossil fuels could be phased out almost completely over the next decade.

The Sussex Energy Group, based at the University of Sussex, has said that a co-ordinated effort could see the switch to clean energy brought in much earlier than previously thought. [Read more…]

The changing face of Australian solar as confidence returns

changes ahead sign

The large scale solar industry is really starting to pick up – now Abbott’s gone.

There’s a new spring in the step of investors in big solar as confidence that has been lacking during the Abbott years has been boosted following the Turnbull takeover.

The level of enthusiasm for solar power in Australia — and large-scale projects in particular — has been remarkable. The removal of the anti-renewables team of Abbott and Hockey (let’s call it like it is) hasn’t completely dissipated attempts to dismantle renewable energy in Australia. Witness the indecent rush to approve the Adani mine in Queensland as an indicator of the strength of the fossil fuel lobby.

However the removal of the Abbott administration and replacement with the more urbane, measured and supportive approach of the Turnbull team is paying dividends with the big end of town. [Read more…]

ARENA funds independent testing for battery storage

battery icons

Which battery is best for Aussie conditions? ARENA aim to tell you…

Just when you thought the news in battery storage was over following Tesla’s launch of the Powerwall, comes this little news gem.

Renewable energy consulting firm IT Power have been granted $450,000 from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) — remember them? — to conduct special independent tests to confirm the efficiency of eight different types of battery storage. [Read more…]

ET Solar Panels win government support

commercial solar installation

Government backed CEFC has joined forces with ET Solar Panels to power large Aussie businesses.

What do ET Solar Australia and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) have up their sleeves to promote ET solar panels for large commercial businesses in our country?

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. And more than one model for financing solar energy. This was amply demonstrated last week with the release of the CEFC’s plan to stump up $20 million with the solar energy provider ET Solar in a new innovative partnership that has proved radically successful in overseas countries. [Read more…]

Knowing Where the Power Lies Helps All

Last week, ARENA declared that $425,000 will be used to fund a project creating online maps of electricity network constraints in order to increase the use of renewable energy and be able to inform network investments more efficiently. The lack of clear and consistent network information has been an ongoing issue but this project hopes to make that a thing of the past.

With the rise of rooftop solar and local generation in Australia, managing networks has been increasingly challenging over the years. The hope is to update these online maps annually to keep their findings accurate and lower costs in the long term. For more on this development, click here.

New community owned energy retailer, Northern Rivers Energy, impresses with vision

community solar

Sick of AGL, Origin and their greedy bedfellows? Then start your own retailer!

Fans of community energy got a boost this week with news of plans to launch the country’s first community owned energy retailer. Based in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, a consortium of citizens under the name of Northern Rivers Energy (NRE) has “…won a $54,000 grant to develop a business plan and conduct a feasibility study,” according to RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson.

The plan shows again how community-based renewable energy such as solar power can be accessed and owned by the community. [Read more…]

Major CSIRO solar breakthrough underlines ARENA’s worth

CSIRO solar tower with mirror array.

These mirrors at CSIRO in Newcastle can focus the sun to create superheated steam. That is the same pressure and temperature of steam that a coal or nuclear fired power plant creates. Amazing. Picture credit: CSIRO

Further evidence emerged this week from the CSIRO of the value of the embattled Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to the nation. ARENA, you may well recall, is at the centre of the current government’s ideological campaign against renewable energy with its very existence now in doubt through savage proposed budget cuts.

The breakthrough was the successful heating of steam to a supercritical temperature using solar energy. Supercritical steam is very high temperature and high pressure steam, that is needed to run electricity generating turbines efficiently. Essentially this means that we can now use the sun to drive conventional electricity turbines, like those found in a coal fired or even nuclear power station. This development has the potential to be a “gamechanger” in the way we generate electricity, according to the CSIRO. [Read more…]

Who gets the blame for energy poverty in Australia?

wind turbine

87% of electricity price rises are nothing to do with renewables. But we still get the blame. Funny that.

Energy poverty in Australia is defined as when more than 10 percent of your household disposable income is spent on energy. It’s a newish problem in our country but one, due to rapidly escalating electricity prices, that we will unfortunately hear a great deal more about in coming years. With the skyrocketing electricity prices that have kicked in around the country, the question (from the point of view of the big energy companies and their politician friends) is not so much “Have we got a massive problem with energy poverty in this country?” as “Who the f!@# can we blame?” [Read more…]

Hollande’s merger initiative (outside the presidential bedroom)

french actress and solar panels

Oooh La La! What has a French actress got to do with solar panel manufacturing? Read on…

Here at the SQHQ we try to cover solar policy as often as we can in these pages. Let’s face it there’s nothing more enjoyable than covering the sorry policy efforts offered by the chair polishers in state and federal seats of power. With some exceptions (heads up ACT), policy that takes into account the advantages of solar energy in Australia might as well be made by a bunch of backward-looking, chest-thumping, narky neo trogs …. (or am I being too harsh here?). [Read more…]