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…]

The changing face of Australian solar as confidence returns

changes ahead sign

The large scale solar industry is really starting to pick up – now Abbott’s gone.

There’s a new spring in the step of investors in big solar as confidence that has been lacking during the Abbott years has been boosted following the Turnbull takeover.

The level of enthusiasm for solar power in Australia — and large-scale projects in particular — has been remarkable. The removal of the anti-renewables team of Abbott and Hockey (let’s call it like it is) hasn’t completely dissipated attempts to dismantle renewable energy in Australia. Witness the indecent rush to approve the Adani mine in Queensland as an indicator of the strength of the fossil fuel lobby.

However the removal of the Abbott administration and replacement with the more urbane, measured and supportive approach of the Turnbull team is paying dividends with the big end of town. [Read more…]

Did solar energy get a leg up in the budget?

solar panels

Small business can get a tax break on installing solar. Thanks Mr Hockey!

The Treasurer’s annual allocating of the shekels has come and gone and renewable energy fans are asking about solar energy in the Budget. How did we fare? Were we the subject of further cutbacks, maulings and downgradings as part of this federal government’s campaign against all things renewable?

Well yes and no is the best answer. [Read more…]

Has AGL rung the death knell for Oz fossil fuels?

opening of the Nyngan solar farm

At the opening of the largest solar farm in Australia last week: Anthony Roberts MP -NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Mark Speakman SC MP – NSW Minister for Environment, Andy Vesey – AGL CEO, Lesley Ryan – Nyngan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Ian Kay – ARENA CFO, Jack Curtis – First Solar, Regional Manager APAC, Ray Donald – Bogan Shire Mayor.

Two major stories lead the debate over solar power in Australia this week, both throwing up intriguing developments for our renewable energy future. Both asking the question: are we seeing the last of the fossil fuel industry in our country? [Read more…]

RayGen combines solar technologies for bush solar revolution

raygen system

The RayGen System focuses solar onto a novel concentrator. Image (c) Raygen

You get the best renewable energy stories tucked away in the rural press. Proof that solar power innovation in the bush is moving ahead by leaps and bounds. This despite the often backwards policy of our elected representatives.

So it was this week when a bit of digging unearthed the unveiling of a $3.6 million solar power facility in Newbridge in Central Victoria. The plant, developed by renewable research and development company RayGen Resources, combines PV cells with concentrating solar technology. [Read more…]

ET Solar Panels win government support

commercial solar installation

Government backed CEFC has joined forces with ET Solar Panels to power large Aussie businesses.

What do ET Solar Australia and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) have up their sleeves to promote ET solar panels for large commercial businesses in our country?

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. And more than one model for financing solar energy. This was amply demonstrated last week with the release of the CEFC’s plan to stump up $20 million with the solar energy provider ET Solar in a new innovative partnership that has proved radically successful in overseas countries. [Read more…]

Huge Jump in Queensland Commercial Solar Installations

office in QLD with solar

Offices and Factories in QLD are installing solar at an increasing rate.

We’ve documented before the lack of love of the Newman government towards solar energy in Queensland. In the midst of a state election where the shrill rhetoric is matched only by the embarrassing speed of the election call, the level of antipathy has risen as the LNP seek to demolish the arguments of the pro-renewables lobby.

However, despite the LNP’s efforts, it seems an important chunk of their traditional electorate aren’t listening. [Read more…]

Why Big Utilities Are Scrambling Towards Solar

Now that solar power has become more of a threat, big US utility companies responsible for providing electricity want to buy in. With the cultural push to become more reliant on renewable energy sources and the increase in people wanting to break free from their higher utility bills, many utility companies are opting to become more solar friendly in order to keep their business.

While overall this might be a good thing, the intentions are purely economic. Big utilities in the USA are in the discussions with local governments in order to build or install solar panels into their networks. Some states have been open to this idea but others have resisted since it appears to only kill off the only competition electric companies have.

To learn more about this development, click here.

Commercial Solar Storage Developed By Stem/Kyocera Team-Up

Stem Inc. and Kyocera Inc. have collaborated to develop a more cost effective and efficient way to store solar electricity for commercial users. Using Stem’s behind-the-meter storage and analytics in conjunction with Kyocera’s solar panels, many commercial customers should be able to massively reduce their imports from the grid. This also includes the ability to inject additional power during peak demand, potentially reducing peak usage charges.

Stem believes it can predict power usages up to 30 days in advance in order to properly prepare.  Pretty cool. For more on this story, click here.

The Huge Companies That Rely On Commerical Solar

Whilst commercial solar systems in Australia are steadily growing in number despite pushback from many electricity networks, the USA is forging ahead with enormous commercial systems.  America’s biggest companies, like Wal*mart, Costco and Macy’s are relying on solar power to reduce their bills. Here’s a great snapshot from the Sustainable Energy Industry Association which has some seriously impressive numbers on it.

When will Australia’s biggest companies (e.g. the miners) start installing more solar to power their operations?, Perhaps when the government stops subsidising their filthy diesel to the tune of about $8bn per year?

Anyway – all I can say is way to go USA! Here’s those amazing stats:

comercial solar infographic

Source: SEIA