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Solar Flagships set to sail in country NSW but will it survive?


Juat add 1,000,000 solar panels!

Nice to report on a good news story in renewable energy. News this week from ABC Broken Hill of negotiations which will see up to a third of a 600 hectare station to the west of Broken Hill covered in around one million (count ‘em) photovoltaic (PV) solar panels by 2015.

Geoff Luke, the owner of the station, told the ABC the finalised project was the result of protracted negotiations with energy company AGL.

“It would be close to two years now that we’ve been chatting about it and finally it looks like it’s come to fruition,” he said.

The partnership with AGL has been made possible by the opportunities provided by the often much maligned (by solar narks) Federal Government’s Solar Flagships Program. Mr Luke confirmed that the project had been accepted into the Flagship’s program and was ready to er…sail. [Read more…]

Subsidising solar development for polluters

Bluescope steel logo

Bluescope want your taxes!

A news item caught your correspondent’s eye last week. According to an ABC local news report of 4 July, the government is set to shell out half of the required funding for a project which will allow solar panels to be integrated into metal roofing. Due to one of Australia’s most polluting companies being on its knees due to the carbon tax (inserts <sarcasm></sarcasm> tags here) we, the taxpayer, are to contribute $2.3 million of this $5 million solar power project for Bluescope Steel. [Read more…]

Pay-As-You-Go Solar Arrives In Australia

Sim Cards

PAYG Solar Too?

Have you considered installing a domestic solar system but have been put off by the initial cost? Then the recently-announced unveiling of a radical new pay-as-you-go plan in Australia may be for you.

According to an April 21 report in the Sydney Morning Herald, an American company, Sungevity Inc., has teamed up with Lismore-based solar installer Nickel Energy to set up an Australian subsidiary, Sungevity Australia, which offers free solar panel installation. [Read more…]

Hybrid Solar Part 2: How To Future Proof Your Solar System

Hybrid badge

Hybrid Solar Too?

Please note: this post was written in 2012 and is way out of date.

>>> Please visit this page on solar batteries, which is constantly updated. <<<

In my previous blog post on hybrid solar systems (aka grid connect with battery backup) I promised to follow up with a post that went into more detail on the costs and give examples of inverter hardware that can be used to make such a beast.

I’ve realised that if I go into the costs and paybacks then this blog post may be longer than War and Peace. So in this post I’ll cover the hardware and I’ll save the financials for next time.

As I said in the previous post, your motivation for spending more on a hybrid solar system will likely be either: [Read more…]

Dubbo: Solar Power Capital of Australia!

Well done Dubbo solar power installers!

dubbo library clock tower without solar panels

Sunny in Dubbo

If you read the mainstream press in Australia,  you’d think the towns and suburbs with the biggest average take up of solar panels would be the well-to-do inner city suburbs of our major cities. Perhaps Vaucluse, Toorak or the leafy eastern suburbs of Adelaide?

Obviously they’d be more likely where wealth is concentrated right?

Wrong (as you may have guessed by the headline!). In a sign that solar energy is becoming more accessible to mainstream Aussie folk, a recent survey by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) found the central-west NSW city of Dubbo to have the highest average percentage of houses with solar panels.

[Read more…]

Interview with Paul O’Reilly of the Rainbow Power Company

Rainbow Power Company Logo

Rainbow Power Company – one of Australia’s oldest solar companies

In this, the first in what we hope will be a number of interviews with solar opinion leaders, business people and experts in the solar industry we chat with Paul O’Reilly, director of the Nimbin-based Rainbow Power Company. Sit back and enjoy as Paul talks feed-in tariffs, the almost constant boom and bust cycles in the Australian solar industry and his optimism for the future.

The solar industry must have changed a lot since Rainbow Power Company first set up? Do you think this has been for better or worse?

[Read more…]

What to Really Expect at the Second NSW Solar Summit

By Rich Bowden

This week’s announcement by NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher that the Second NSW Solar Summit, to be held in Newcastle on July 1, will provide a “…key pathway to managing the development of the renewable energy industry in a consistent and sustainable manner,” brought a smile to my face.

Solar Muppet
For wasn’t it the same Honourable Member who, as part of his newly-elected government’s “slash and burn” approach to the solar industry, unilaterally declared he would decrease the solar bonus feed-in tariff retrospectively from 60c per kilowatt hour to 40c? Opposition from solar customers, the solar industry, the public and even from the NSW Government’s own backbench ultimately forced a stubborn Mr Hartcher to reinstate the original offer, negotiated under the previous Labor Government.

[Read more…]

Huge Subsidies (and waiting lists) for Solar Hot Water in QLD

The Queensland Solar Hot Water program is delivering and installing $500 systems for eligible Queenslanders and $100 for pensioners. But as you might expect, there is the mother of all waiting lists.

To date more than 850 customers have been allocated to suppliers to conduct inspections and install new systems.

By the end of this week over 110 systems will have been installed in Brisbane and a further 200 have been contacted to arrange site inspections.

More than 43,000 Queenslanders have registered their interest to participate in this program with more than 10,000 completed applications received so far.”

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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