Garnaut says: It’s not to late

The Garnaut Climate Review has warned of the grave dangers of not reducing climate change stating that it will lead to dire consequences for humanity. However, the report also sheds some positive light on the issue, stating that it is still not too late to start doing something about it.

In Australia, there is a long-term goal to reduce all emissions by sixty percent between the year 2000 and 2050. In addition to this, they also hope to reduce emissions by up to fifteen percent by 2020.

Focusing on renewable energy sources is one of the things that Australia is doing to reduce these emissions. In addition, raising the taxes of major polluters is also on the agenda. Seeking green alternatives to fuel is essential as is optimizing energy efficiently in homes, businesses and public buildings with an emphasis on totally renewable and “free” sources such as solar energy and wind power.

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Chinese Solar Company Says Improved Solar Efficiency On The Way (based on Aussie Technology!)

The largest producer of solar panels in the world, Suntech Power Holdings, has recently reported more information regarding its latest Pluto technology. This new technology has made substantial progress in improving the conversion efficiencies of solar cell technology

Although there have been a number of improvements in technology in the industry overall, none of the others are yet ready for commercial distribution. Although the Fraunhofer Institute achieved a solar cell efficiency of over forty percent, it, also, is far from ready for mass production.

Already in the process of mass production, Suntech’s Pluto technology has employed solar panels with efficiencies of 19% in monocrystalline technology and 17% in polycrystalline panels. Other current technology currently has efficiencies of 18% and 14% respectively.

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Silicon Price Slumps – When will Solar Panels Follow Suit?

The value of silicon has plummetted recently with refined silicon (used to make solar cells) being around $100 per kilo, about 4-5 times cheaper than it was only a year ago.

Dare I say it – Silicon is Cheap As Chips!

Sorry…couldn’t resist that one.

Unfortunately this hasn’t followed through to hugely reduce the price of solar panels yet (silicon is the biggest ingredient in most solar PV panels).

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A message for Anna Bligh and Kevin Rudd: Start Stimulating Solar Energy!

Queensland local businesses in the solar energy industry have said that it is about time that the state of Queensland introduce the type of solar energy plan that is found in many places around Europe whereby households receive cash for the energy that their solar power system produces, that is distributed into the regular power supply, greatly encouraging the use of this greener, renewable energy source.

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Victorian Farmers Pissed Off With Government’s Solar Stinginess

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.

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Aussie Technology Promises To Make Solar Panels More Efficient

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 Feed in Tariffs

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.

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Don’t Get Fleeced by the Solar Cowboys

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!

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Get Your Government Grants for Solar Energy

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.

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What on Earth are Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)?

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:

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