Solar Owners Secure As Electricity Prices & Solar Feed-In Tariffs Rise

solar owner

If you own a good-sized solar power system, rising electricity prices are not a worry, in fact some solar owners will see their bills decrease thanks to rising feed-in-tariffs.

Australians don’t pay the highest electricity prices in the world, but we’re working on it.  [Read more…]

Solar Air Conditioning Vs. Heat Reflective Paint

heat reflective paint vs solar

If your house is getting too hot should you invest in heat reflective paint or solar panels?

It can get bloody hot in summer thanks to the sun blazing down on our roofs and making them hot enough to not only fry an egg, but some bacon as well.

This post is about stopping the summer sun heating your roof, turning your home into a metaphorical oven. [Read more…]

How GST On Solar Is Calculated

get on solar

How to charge GST on solar is not obvious. Read on to discover why…

Let’s say you have just been quoted a nice round $7,000 for a brand spanking new rooftop solar system with 5 kilowatts of panels.  With Australia’s 10% Goods and Services Tax, you might expect the GST portion of that quote to come to $700.

Or, if you didn’t go to school in Toowoomba like I did, you might actually think GST would be $636.36 because that would be 10% of $6,363.64 which would then add up to a nice round $7,000.  (Remember kids, always pay attention in math class if you don’t want to end up as a lowly solar blogger) [Read more…]

SunPower And SMA Choose To (Very Discreetly) Manufacture In China

 

sma sunpower Chinese welcome

High end manufacturers SunPower And SMA have chosen to manufacture in China. But they aren’t exactly advertising the fact.

China produces far more solar panels, far more solar inverters, and god knows how many more batteries than any other country in existence.  China has been called the workshop of the world1 and has repeatedly shown itself to be capable of producing high quality, reliable goods. [Read more…]

Footnotes

  1. The United States has been called the arsenal of democracy.  I can’t deny the US appears to have more than its fair share of arsenals.

Will LGCs Pay More Than STCs on a 10-100kW solar system?

solar panels

There are 2 subsidies for solar under 100kW: STCs (AKA the ‘solar rebate’) and the lesser known LGCs. Which one will give you the better return?

Many people are aware the Renewable Energy Target, or RET, lowers the cost of rooftop solar.  This is often called the solar rebate, even though that term is not entirely accurate.

But what few people know is, provided their system is large enough, they have a choice in the type of assistance they receive.  A household with a 10 kilowatt rooftop solar system can either accept Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) or Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).

Almost all solar systems 100kW and smaller, currently being installed use STCs because they are all deemed immediately after the installation whereas LGCs are deemed annually over 15 years.

At the time of writing (July 2016) STCs are $38 each whereas LGCs are at a sky high $82. This has made some savvy solar installers wonder if using LGCs instead of STCs might create a better return for patient solar owners. [Read more…]

Coal Power Eliminated From South Australia With Help From Rooftop Solar

coal miners hat

The last coal miners in South Australia have hung up their helmets, and the last coal fired power station has shut its doors.

History has been made with the closure of the Northern Power Station which has eliminated the use of coal in South Australia. And I say good riddance to you, Northern Power Station. I’m sorry you are no longer providing employment for people in Port Augusta or at the Leigh Creek coal mine, but I’m not sorry you are gone because you kill people and I am a firm believer that electricity generation should be death light. [Read more…]

Global CO2 Emissions Stall, Economy Grows, Thanks To Renewables

power station with solar

The massive deployment of renewables has helped global CO2 emissions fall.

Interesting news from two separate studies from different agencies this week folks. The first — from the International Energy Agency (IEA) — found that carbon emissions have stalled worldwide for the second year in a row. The second, from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), outlined the associated benefits of doubling the share of renewables in the world energy mix. [Read more…]

Goldman Sachs report recommends investors back renewables

Those crusty greenies at Goldman Sachs are bullish about renewables and efficiency.

Those leftie greenies at Goldman Sachs are bullish about renewables and efficiency.

Goldman Sachs divides opinion. There are those who say the financial behemoth may have engineered — and certainly profited from — the 2008/2009 Global Financial Crisis. However backers insist that the investment giant is an example of good old fashioned American “get up and go” and what’s a few billion between friends/taxpayers anyway.

But this week saw another side of the company. One where it encouraged investors to invest in renewables for the sake of the low carbon future and for the health of their bottom line. [Read more…]

Do solar panels increase house value? 85 percent of Aussies think so

 

for sale sign and solar panels

A recent study shows that solar really does increase the value of your home.

Australians overwhelmingly believe solar panels increase house value, according to joint research carried out earlier this year by Origin Energy and RealEstate.com.au and their optimism is backed by a number of surveys.

The Origin/RealEstate research found that 85 percent of respondents believe that having solar panels adds value to the home. Having a PV system rated the highest, leading energy efficient appliances, solar hot water and water tanks.

“This research demonstrates that solar panels could provide a real boost for homeowners if they decide to sell,” said Phil Craig, Executive General Manager of Corporate Affairs at Origin Energy. “Origin want to encourage Australians to start recognising their empty roof space could be an asset,” he added.

REA Group Chief Product Officer Henry Ruiz described having solar panels as “… a valuable investment” for homeowners.

[Read more…]

Solar + Flywheel Microgrid Saves 400,000 Litres of Diesel Annually

solar diesel

Solar has been installed with a huge flywheel to smooth its output in WA. The result is a town that is 60% solar powered, and a 400,000 litre reduction in annual diesel usage. Great Aussie innovation!

We’ve all seen the success of solar energy in our cities and regional towns. Australians are voting with their rooftops for clean, green solar power and the trend is increasing as solar reaches grid parity. But what of communities in our vast Outback? What of our small remote towns currently reliant on polluting fossil fuels such as diesel? It is here that microgrids, solar energy and the Outback are coming together to create a new, cleaner energy future.

In doing so, these microgrids for remote communities are giving the country a glimpse of a new way of accessing energy. [Read more…]