Is midday the new off peak – thanks to solar?

pylons

Pylons carrying electricity at $0.005 per kWh. Last Saturday.

I was at home on a cloudy Saturday morning in Adelaide last week, performing some much needed repairs on my puppets in between refreshing my knowledge of chemistry. (Apparently everything is still made of atoms.) Then I noticed through a crack in the wall that the sun had come out and I opened the electrically operated steel shutters to see that, although there were still patches of cloud around, most of Adelaide was bathed in glorious noon sunshine.

On a whim I decided to check what effect this break in the weather had on grid demand and so I went to the Australian Electricity Market Operator’s site. Fortunately I could do this via internet and so didn’t have far to walk. I saw there had been quite a steep decline in demand which apparently had gone hand in hand with the clearing skies. [Read more…]

Energy costs are going down, but you wouldn’t know it if you’re still on the traditional grid.

confused man and pylons

Huh? Energy Prices Are Going Down?

How much of that quarterly cheque you cut to your local electricity supplier is actually paying for the energy you use?  According to a new scathing news story from ABC and confirmed with data from the Federal Treasury, under half.  Surprisingly, 51% of your monthly payment is, in fact, going to fund the unnecessary rebuilding of a now bloated Australian power grid.   [Read more…]

Origin Energy’s propaganda war against renewables

origin not love renewables

The sorry state of origin’s stance on renewables…

Australian energy utility Origin Energy is under the SQHQ microscope this week readers. More specifically their claim that the carbon tax and subsidies for green schemes are the chief cause of the rise in the average electricity bill. Your correspondent received his bill from Origin on Thursday. While never a pleasant experience this was made worse by a clear message situated prominently on the lower right side of the document in big red letters.

NSW Govt estimates that the Federal carbon tax and green energy schemes add about $332 a year to a typical 6.5MWh household bill.

Sounds nasty readers but is it true?

[Read more…]

Solar brings down electricity prices says report

pylons

Without solar – wholesale electricity would be more expensive.

Last week we here at SolarQuotes HQ we were thrilled to bring you news of a major CSIRO report which found that solar energy intermittency — defined as when cloud cover causes a reduction in the efficiency of energy drawn from the sun — can be successfully managed.

To the great consternation of solar critics and the delight of solar fans, the major study found that, not only could proper management techniques limit the problem of solar intermittency, but it could also contribute to solar energy taking its rightful role as a major energy source in Australia.

This week we’d like to follow up that with another cracker study: this time from the REC Agents Association (RAA). According to this report, the increased takeup of solar by Australian consumers has contributed to a reduction in power consumption and a lowering of wholesale electricity prices across the National Electricity Market. [Read more…]

Construction on Mildura solar system begins but what can taxpayers expect?

Solar Farm
 photo credit: mcmees24

The announcement last month from R&D company Silex Systems that construction on Australia’s largest solar power station at Mildura, VIC, has begun gladdens the heart. And the hip pocket nerve. After all Victorian and federal taxpayers are helping to fund this venture to the tune of around $120 million.

[Read more…]

Subsidies in Frame as Silex Ends Local Solar Cell Manufacture

By Rich Bowden

Solar industry news in NSW this week has been dominated by the announcement by Silex Solar, the last company to manufacture solar cells in this country, that it will discontinue the production of locally made cells. (Note the solar cells are the black, round, saucer sized, plates of silicon, which make up solar panels).

In an announcement earlier this week, the company said while it would continue to manufacture solar panels at its Homebush, Sydney plant, it would do so with solar cells from an as yet unnamed overseas country (read China). [Read more…]

Push to Make Electricity Retailers Pay as NSW Coalition Continue Solar Spin Cycle

The issue of solar energy, and more importantly the backflip on the Solar Bonus Scheme continues to dominate debate in the NSW Parliament “bearpit”. Heroic efforts by the Coalition to contain fallout are matched only by attempts by certain Liberals to accept credit for the turnaround.

Meanwhile injecting a new angle into the sorry NSW solar debate, NSW Greens MP Dr John Kaye has led his party’s endorsement of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) recommendation that NSW electricity retailers pay the full cost of the solar power they receive. [Read more…]

How Economically Viable is Solar Energy?

By Rich Bowden

A recent report by the University of Melbourne’s EnergyResearchInstitute has found that, not only is solar energy a viable form of energy, but that costs will compare favourably with traditional fossil fuel technology in the very near future.

The report, the Renewable Energy Technology Cost Review May 2011, was commissioned by  government climate advisor Ross Garnaut and included the current and expected future costs of three forms of renewable energy; wind, solar and thermal. [Read more…]

Why Electricity Prices Are Rising…?

Click the image to enlarge… (it’s worth it!)

Do you trust your electricity supplier?

Before you invest in solar power, be sure that you know exactly what your local electricity company will pay you for any exported energy.  The good utilities will pay you the Feed In Tariff rate (if your state has one) PLUS the standard rate per kwh. The meanie ones will just pay you the FIT rate.

[Read more…]

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