Solar Power Is Getting Cheaper, Faster Than Anyone Predicted

Ramez Naam on the cost of solar energy

Solar energy is getting cheaper faster than anyone predicted says Ramez Naam.

Utility-scale solar electricity is going to drive fossil fuels out of the power generation market, sooner rather than later, according to clean energy investor and advocate Ramez Naam. [Read more…]

Help! I’m Export Limited To Zero kW. Does Solar Make Any Sense?

Zero export limited - solar power in Australia

If you are not allowed to export any of your solar electricity, is it still worth getting panels?

Some people in Australia can’t export solar electricity to the grid.  This is because their local Distributed Network Service Provider (DNSP) has export limited their home to zero kilowatts.  While this isn’t common — yet — it is a tragedy wrapped in personal economic pain. [Read more…]

100% Renewables Is Hard – But 96% Is Easy Says Windlab’s David Osmond

96% Renewable Energy In Australia

The road to 96% renewables is relatively cheap and easy. So let’s crack on!

A common delaying tactic of the enemies of our environment is to repeatedly remind us getting to 100% renewables, even for electricity generation, is difficult and expensive.

100% renewable is expensive, says Windlab’s David Osmond – but getting nearly all the way there, 96%, is easy and relatively cheap. [Read more…]

Has Chief Scientist Alan Finkel Got It Wrong On Hydrogen And Natural Gas?

Chief Scientist Dr. Alan Finkel - Hydrogen

On Wednesday last week Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, gave a talk on Australia’s energy future at the National Press Club.  While there’s no doubt Australia’s Chief Scientist is a smart cookie, I think a couple of predictions he made are fairly obviously wrong. [Read more…]

AEMO Says They Will Support A Broken Market System That Puts Lives In Danger

AEMO 2020 Integrated System Plan

Australia’s Energy Markets Are Broken Because They Ignore Externalities

You would think the middle of a horrendous bushfire season — at a time when large areas of New South Wales were ablaze and air quality in Sydney was worse than Shanghai thanks to smoke hanging in the air like the ghost of gums before drifting out to sea — would be a bad time for the Australia Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to announce they are okay with people dying from fossil fuel use as long as someone is making money from it. [Read more…]

House Of Reps Report Supports Nuclear – But Only If Everyone Is Into It

Sizewell A and B nuclear power stations

It’s not about safety – it’s about cost. Nuclear power is just too damn expensive for Australia.

Last Friday the House Of Representatives released a report on nuclear energy in Australia.  They said it’s a good idea — provided everyone is cool with it. [Read more…]

The “Solar Rebate” Is Not Ending: Don’t Be Fooled By Misleading Ads

Australia's solar rebate is not ending

The “solar rebate” does not end this year. In fact rooftop solar power may be cheaper early next year.

DON’T PANIC!  Despite attempts by dodgy advertisers1 to convince you otherwise, the “solar rebate” isn’t ending any time soon.  Renewable energy certificates (called STCs) will still be lowering the cost of rooftop solar for years to come.  To be precise, for another 11 years, 1 month, and 2 days. [Read more…]

Bigger Is Better — Installing Over 6 Kilowatts Of Solar Almost Always Pays

3 kW vs 6.5 kW - Solar Energy - Bigger Is Better

If you asked me how much solar you should put on your roof I would say, “As much as you can without doing something stupid like borrowing from the mafia or doubling up on solar panels by stacking them on top of each other.”  In other words, install as much as you can without making problems for yourself. [Read more…]

Australian Coal Power Will Be Quickly Killed By Low Cost Renewables

Coal being pushed out by wind and solar power

Low Cost Renewables Will Soon Drive Coal Power Out Of The Market

Last month the entire country sweltered under an oppressive heatwave — except the half known as Western Australia.  As air conditioner power consumption soared on the 25th, 40% of Victoria’s coal generators failed followed by rolling blackouts. When faced with this incontrovertible evidence of coal’s unreliability, the government dedicated itself to the rapid phaseout of coal under its “affordable, reliable 24/7 power” program.

Sorry, only kidding.  What they actually did was offer to pay the debts of new coal power stations that go bust. [Read more…]

Labor’s Hydrogen Plan Is A Lead Zeppelin

Labor hydrogen plan

Why Australia Is Unlikely To Ever Export Large Quantities Of Hydrogen

As Michael reported this week, Labor has announced in a media release that, if elected, they will spend $3 million building a “National Hydrogen Innovation Hub” in Gladstone and make over $1 billion available in loans for to develop hydrogen production.  Labor also say they will remove regulatory barriers and make research into hydrogen production, storage, and transport a priority . [Read more…]