NSW Feed In Tariff Changes – Channel 9 Adds To The Confusion

Last night Channel Nine News in Sydney ran a short segment on how NSW’s high gross solar feed-in tariffs are ending in a few days time.

Many of the details in this segment were not correct. [Read more…]

How To Keep Your Bills Down When The NSW 60c Feed-In Tariff Ends

new gross meter

If you are on the 60c Feed In Tariff in NSW (AKA the Solar Bonus Scheme) you really need to get a new meter by January 1.

Across NSW there are 146,000 homes and businesses receiving a gross feed-in tariff for the electricity their rooftop solar generates.

This tariff ends on the 31st of December 2016.

If those 146,000 homes and businesses don’t get new import/export meters installed by the end of the year, their owners (or tenants) will be in the financially painful position of not just losing their generous 60-66c feed-in tariff, but also receiving nothing for the solar electricity they export into the grid.

At the start of this year there was a lot of confusion about just what people would have to do to get new meters installed. It became clear there were not enough specialist metering electricians in the state to get the job done – even if they worked on nothing else for the rest of the year.  Fortunately, the rules have been changed and the pool of people permitted to replace meters is expanding. [Read more…]

Revealed: Ausgrid’s Devious Strategy To Keep Solar Customers Confused

ausgrid complaints

Want to ask Ausgrid what the rules are for connecting solar? Then be prepared to enter their infinite loop of hell.

In order to help out people who are considering installing rooftop solar in Sydney, I took it upon myself to find out what people need to know if they want to install a system in the Ausgrid Electricity Network area. I did it for the benefit of humanity. Well, specifically for the benefit of people in the eastern half of Sydney, but if it results in more clean solar electricity being generated, then it will benefit all humanity. [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…]

Why connecting your solar system to the grid is harder in NSW

grid connect solar

What are the rules for connecting to the grid in NSW?

Australians love their rooftop solar and believe it or not, despite our relatively small population we have collectively installed more household solar systems than almost any other country in the world.

For consumers, it’s a no brainer but the electricity companies seem to be making things more difficult as time goes by. Is this justified and are their technical issues we need to understand as solar owners, or are they just profiteering?

The grid is a complex beast and the electricity industry is even more complicated, so the answer is ‘a bit of both’. In fairness to the utilities, and because I’ve had a heap of emails from frustrated NSW folks, I thought I would highlight the New South Wales Service Rules as one example of how technical issues need to be considered. [Read more…]

Calls for Housing NSW to allow solar installations

housing nsw logo and solar panel

Should Housing NSW allow solar on their properties?

With domestic renewable energy systems rapidly increasing in popularity for Australian households, you’d think solar installations for Housing NSW properties would follow suit. With financial savings, clean energy and less pressure on the environment, its a no-brainer really.

However this is not so, says activist James Ray who has found that the department has ruled that it will not allow solar systems on their properties. In response to this Mr Ray has started a petition to ask that the agency allow tenants of Housing NSW to enjoy the benefits of solar installations. [Read more…]

Solar will be the world’s most popular power source by 2050

big red hand pointing down

Down, down, solar panel prices are going down! 

When someone of the stature of Martin Green says the cost of solar PV technology will halve again by the next decade, you sit up and take notice. Even more so when he says solar will be the world’s most popular energy source by 2050.

For the University of New South Wales’ Prof. Martin Green is considered one of the world’s leading PV researchers. His department’s technological breakthroughs in silicon cell efficiency have not only given us the solar panels we know today but also put Australian PV research at the centre of world PV technology.

“The costs of solar will halve again by 2025 is my prediction,” he told a conference in Sydney on Wednesday. “We are at 60 cents per watt manufacturing now but we will get down to 30 cents per watt some time before 2025.”

[Read more…]

New community owned energy retailer, Northern Rivers Energy, impresses with vision

community solar

Sick of AGL, Origin and their greedy bedfellows? Then start your own retailer!

Fans of community energy got a boost this week with news of plans to launch the country’s first community owned energy retailer. Based in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, a consortium of citizens under the name of Northern Rivers Energy (NRE) has “…won a $54,000 grant to develop a business plan and conduct a feasibility study,” according to RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson.

The plan shows again how community-based renewable energy such as solar power can be accessed and owned by the community. [Read more…]

Major CSIRO solar breakthrough underlines ARENA’s worth

CSIRO solar tower with mirror array.

These mirrors at CSIRO in Newcastle can focus the sun to create superheated steam. That is the same pressure and temperature of steam that a coal or nuclear fired power plant creates. Amazing. Picture credit: CSIRO

Further evidence emerged this week from the CSIRO of the value of the embattled Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to the nation. ARENA, you may well recall, is at the centre of the current government’s ideological campaign against renewable energy with its very existence now in doubt through savage proposed budget cuts.

The breakthrough was the successful heating of steam to a supercritical temperature using solar energy. Supercritical steam is very high temperature and high pressure steam, that is needed to run electricity generating turbines efficiently. Essentially this means that we can now use the sun to drive conventional electricity turbines, like those found in a coal fired or even nuclear power station. This development has the potential to be a “gamechanger” in the way we generate electricity, according to the CSIRO. [Read more…]

Liberal moderates in NSW stand up over RET review

nsw blues badge

NSW Stands up for solar. Go Blues!

Will clean energy be the blade that slices apart the ruling Coalition party? Will the fossil-fuel-stacked renewable energy target review panel fall on its dark arts? This week saw the potential for a factional clash of almighty proportions with the NSW government announcing their full support for the renewable energy target (RET) of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. [Read more…]

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