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…]

Are Time-Of-Use Tariffs The Secret To Fast Battery Payback?

Time of Use tariffs and solar battery storage

Do batteries save money with time-of-use tariffs?

Home battery systems continue to fall in price — with an exception or two — and we are getting closer to the day when they will save a typical household money without subsidy or being part of a Virtual Power Plant.

But there is one thing that almost gets batteries to pay for themselves right now: the ridiculously expensive peak rates some time-of-use electricity tariffs charge.  But, without a subsidy, time-of-use tariffs and batteries will only save money for a few exceptional households.  [Read more…]

Death Match: Origin Solar Flex Leasing Vs. Buying Your Own System

lease vs cash - Origin Solar Flex review

Solar power for $0 upfront sounds tempting. But is it a good deal?

This is Thunderdome.

Two methods of putting solar on your roof enter.

One method leaves.

Today’s deathmatch is between Origin Energy’s Solar Flex leasing agreement and Private Ownership! [Read more…]

SunTenants: A Simple Way To Get Solar On Rented Roofs?

tenant and landlord looking at returns

Suntenants offers simple solar for renters.

Almost one-third of Australians live in rental properties.  This is a problem because tenants don’t like paying their own money to put solar panels on their landlord’s roof and few landlords see solar power as a good investment.  Because of this, lots of the population are missing out on the savings solar slathers all over electricity bills.  It also prevents the world benefiting from the extra clean energy that would be generated. [Read more…]

Solar Payback Time For Each Australian Capital

Simple solar payback

The cost of rooftop solar continues to fall despite the fact that the Australian dollar has been falling too.  It has been a while since I’ve harped on about how cost effective rooftop solar is, so I stayed up all night to make beautiful graphs of the simple solar payback time in every capital city.  In other words I will show you how many years it will take the savings on your electricity bills to cover the cost of your solar power system. [Read more…]

Gas Lamps And Electric Cars: Dr. Alan Finkel

Defending electric cars in Australia - Dr. Alan Finkel

Image: Left – Public Domain | Right – Blomst

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr. Alan Finkel has defended electric vehicles and taken on the naysayers, saying that instead of focusing on the current challenges, we should look at the potential of EVs. [Read more…]

Should you scrap your 1.5kW solar and replace it with a bigger system?

solar rag and bone man

Should you bite the bullet and scrap your 1.5kW solar system so you can fit a bigger system on your roof?

Five to eight years ago, just as the Australian solar industry was getting underway, many people locked in high feed in tariffs for their new, cutting-edge solar power systems.  For example, many people in Victoria with systems installed before 2012 are now getting 71.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of solar electricity exported into the grid.  And they will continue to receive this for almost 7 more years. [Read more…]

Why It Makes Sense To Fill Your Roof With Solar

roof full of solar

Q. How much solar should you install on your roof?

A. As much as you reasonably can.

[Read more…]