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

ARENA’s existence hangs by a thread

wind farm and solar panels and a thread being cut

Large scale renewables hanging by a thread thanks to Joe Hockey’s cuts.

Well we knew it was going to be a horror budget didn’t we readers? At least you couldn’t accuse the Abbott administration of not warning us. For weeks we had the drumbeat of fear. The chant that the so-called “age of entitlements” was at an end (except for certain vested interests it seems). The latest “Sloppy” Joe updates leaked to the Murdoch press and (of course) the draconian views of the Audit Commission. So we knew that the story for renewable energy Australia would be bad in the 2014 budget, the question was….how bad?

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Google’s solar power investment proves world’s best brains back renewables

google search for solarThe search engine giant Google — and more specifically Google solar power — is the subject of this week’s rant folks.

There comes a time when the most radical science drifts into the mainstream and becomes accepted as fact or a viable alternative to the present way of doing things. Sometimes this happens almost unnoticed, at least by the community at large, such as the move in thinking from the “steady state” theory of the existence of the universe (back in the day!) to that of the Big Bang. [Read more…]

Why Commercial Solar Will Have A Huge Year in 2014

meter going to 2014

Smart businesses will see their meters slow down in 2014

As solar fans look towards 2014 with a mixture of dread and anticipation, one thing seems certain; energy prices will continue to rise. Yes that’s right, expect your bills to go up despite Abbott’s promise to reduce them.

People who actually know how the National Electricity Market (NEM) works, understand what the climate-change denying knuckle draggers in government don’t. Even if they do ‘Axe The Tax™’  your electricity and gas prices are going in only one direction: up.  Smart Australian business owners are not expecting their bills to drop anytime soon, no matter what promises Abbott spews forth.

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Is renewable energy in Australia a train wreck?

solar-train-wreckIts been a grim time for solar fans over the last week or so as the promised cutbacks, slashes and hatchet jobs on all forms of renewable energy Australia unfold before our horrified eyes. It’s been a bit like watching a bad B Grade film; you know the ones that haven’t even got the wit to take the rise out of themselves.

Watching the Godzilla of Abbott government policy smashing its way across our wide brown land can also be described as being akin to watching a slow motion train wreck. (Too much metaphor mixing is barely enough I always say readers!) First it was the promised repeal of the carbon tax with all the accompanying chest thumping and anti-renewable energy grunting and gnashing of teeth from cheer squads in the press and frontbench. Then there was the slashing of funding for the renewable energy agency ARENA in the interest of cost cutting and (dare I say it) promises made to vested interests. At least we can’t say we weren’t warned! [Read more…]

Footy finals and photovoltaics: when too much sun and sports is barely enough

solar stadium

Sports stadiums are going solar.

Laid low for the past week with a virus readers. Unkind friends have called it footy finals fever which seems to strike your sports-mad correspondent at this time every year. But with the excitement of the AFL final series (just completed) and last weekend’s Rugby League finals, with a touch of netball, Rugby Union and A-League pre-season included, perhaps they have a case? What a great way then to introduce the rising use of photovoltaics in sports stadiums. [Read more…]

Can Solar and Mining be Best Of Frenemies?

A happy compromise or supping with the devil?

A happy compromise or supping with the devil?

Whenever we hear of the future of the battle for the future of Australian energy, the picture we get in our press and from Canberra and the state capitals is one of conflict. One of subsidies for renewables such as solar power systems — whether utility scale solar or domestic PV — versus continued monetary support for fossil fuel-powered industries such as mining.

But is there a middle path readers? One that sees a future for sectors such as mining to use solar power systems to help offset rising energy costs? An absorbing article in Australian Mining this week appears to point in this direction. [Read more…]

Solar Farms: Re-election chance sees government invest in ‘very, very large’ projects

solar farming

Clearing the land for a solar farm!

Never underestimate the power of an election to get our pollies moving on environmental issues folks. Thanks to opinion polls showing the Ruddslide bringing both major parties neck-and-neck in the latest “Most Important Election Since the War” even solar farm policy is on the move. Or so it seems. [Read more…]

Is solar advocacy about to enter a brand new phase?


i love solar t-shirt

You’ll never believe who is embracing solar…

This week we take a detour from our usual rants to look at an interesting emerging overseas trend. The changing face of solar advocacy.

Australia tends to follow most trends that start in the United States — some would say slavishly — so this recent article in the superb Grist magazine made me think that the very way solar is positioned may indeed be changing. Support for solar power has long moved from the fringes to being accepted by the mainstream.

But solar advocacy is now being embraced by ultra conservatives as a symbol of free enterprise!

Let me explain. [Read more…]

Australia’s capital leads country in commercial solar

Canberra sign

Stop The Press! Something positive out of Canberra!

The feverish activity in Canberra continues. Kevin Rudd (aka The Milky Bar Kid) is PM this week apparently. But we thought we’d pop down the road to the seat of the far more interesting ACT territory government for this week’s solar news. For it is here that Australian commercial solar history is being made. (See our previous rant on the development of this solar farm).

Overshadowed by the shenanigans of their Fed cousins, the ACT government recently passed legislation which will see the country’s largest commercial solar farm built at Royalla. The facility, just outside the nation’s capital, has been the subject of bitter debate but the ACT’s Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Simon “Solar” Corbell, in standing his ground against well-organised protests, pointed out the many benefits the farm will bring to the territory. [Read more…]