SolarQuotes Vodcast Episode 10: Grid Management By Press Release

In Episode 10 of the SolarQuotes vodcast, Finn and Ronald comment on “truth hygiene” issues in energy-related press releases from politicians and discuss other articles recently published on the SQ blog.

0:46 – Finn talks about a recent government press release on South Australia’s battery subsidy that only had 3 statements correct out of 13 – the date, the name of the politician issuing it and what home batteries do at a very basic level. Ronald comments on “truth hygiene”, stating that those in a position of power are expected to do a bit of homework – or have someone else do the homework for them.

5:46 – In relation to a claim pumped hydro will “destroy” anti-wind and solar power arguments, Finn and Ronald discuss the basics and advantages of pumped hydro storage, and address some misconceptions and concerns about the technologies involved. The difference between “dispatchable” and “firming” energy is also touched on.

10:55 – The best and worst reviews of the week. Kozco Energy Group gets high praise, while another provider is slammed by a reviewer over alleged battery performance claims that didn’t stack up. Ronald recommends a course of action in a situation where Australian consumers do not get what they were promised.

15:47 – Unfortunately, a lot of crap solar panels have been installed in Australia over the last 10 year, leading to a significant amount of solar waste headed to landfill as poor quality panels fail prematurely. While comparatively safe compared to some forms of e-waste, it is a waste problem that requires attention aside from ensuring the bar continues to be raised on solar quality. Finn and Ronald bat around the idea of a levy on each solar panel sold to help cover recycling costs.

17:27 – News of a thermal solar battery unveiled in South Australia has both Finn and Ronald a little skeptical on how the technology will fare. Ronald also flags a “solid-state” version is around, but Finn’s money remains on lithium-ion batteries.

20:19 – The CEC’s Australian Solar Retailer program becoming effectively mandatory in Victoria is a “a shitty way to get rid of shonks” says Ronald. Finn comments the first rule of systems engineering is to find the root cause of a problem rather than putting band-aid on band-aid and rule on rule. Finn also says it’s fundamentally dishonest to sell this scheme as voluntary to the government, the ACCC,  the solar industry and to the public – and then make it (for all intents and purposes) mandatory.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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