Despite What The Coalition Says Or Doesn’t Say, The “Solar Rebate” Won’t End Soon

Will they scrap the Renewable Energy Target (and by extension the ‘Solar Rebate’) or won’t they?

The Australian newspaper has reported that a couple of Coalition MPs have said Australia should scrap its Renewable Energy Target (RET) if Donald Trump dumps the United States’ commitment to the Paris climate agreement. [Read more…]

Australian Politicians Confuse Wind Power And Powerful Winds

wind vs wind power

Which of our elected politicians can tell the difference? Read on to find out…

Yesterday all of South Australia was blacked out and parts of the state are still without grid power today. This occurred because a powerful storm damaged transmission lines and the entire state grid automatically shut down as a safety precaution to prevent more damage.

Restarting a grid after a complete shutdown is complex and requires several hours. And it took several hours for grid power to start to be restored.

There is no mystery to what happened. It is very simple:

1. There was a really big storm.
2. Transmission lines were damaged.
3. The grid shut down automatically as a safety precaution, like it should have.

If you don’t believe power lines were damaged by strong winds, here is a picture of high voltage, steel girder, transmission towers near Port Augusta.  The wind bent them over so their tops touch the ground.

This picture shows how unusual the situation was. Transmission towers do not normally lie down on the ground to take a rest.

In addition to gale force winds there were also so many lightning strikes they would have been countless if someone hadn’t counted them and tornadoes. As more detailed information is reported we will probably learn if it was lightning strikes, gale force winds, or a big willy willy that provided the straw that safety precautioned the camel’s back. [Read more…]

Keith De Lacy Is Not Right About Solar And Wind Power – Not Here, Not Anywhere


A response to Keith De Lacey’s article in the Australian last week.

The Australian recently published an opinion piece by the Director of an oil shale company and former Chairman of Macarthur Coal, entitled, “Solar And Wind Power Simply Don’t Work – Not Here, Not Anywhere“.

This was surprising because the solar panels above my head are producing electricity right now.  And since I know exactly how much I paid for them I know they are definitely economically worthwhile. Also, because I know exactly how much the STCs I received as part of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target were worth I know the rooftop solar system would still pay for itself even without subsidy. [Read more…]

How Australia Ended Up With A Renewable Energy Target

John Howard and a ray of light

The Creator of The Renewable Energy Target. Mr John Howard.

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target, or RET, was first introduced in 2001 by Liberal PM John Howard. It has been almost entirely responsible for getting Australia’s graceful collection of wind turbines erected and getting solar panels on the roofs of 19% of our homes.

However, despite all its success, not many of us know very much about the RET.

This is understandable, as on the surface the topic is fairly dry. But once you get past that desiccated surface you soon discover what lies beneath is actually about as dry as crawling through the Simpson Desert without water for three days and then eating six plain SAO biscuits off a salt flat.

But don’t worry, I’m going to save you from having to experience that yourself. I recently filled in the gaps my knowledge of the RET and I’m ready to present you with all the juicy tidbits of information I gleaned from that dry and dusty landscape.

Feel free not to read on if you are already confident in your mastery of the topic. But before you do that, just be certain you can answer in the affirmative when I ask, do you get RET yet? [Read more…]

Solar Panel Rebate To Be Phased Out From 1st of January 2017

solar rebate ending

The projected solar rebate for a 5kW system in Zone 3 with a $37 STC price.

The solar rebate which currently reduces the cost of rooftop solar in Australia will be phased out with the first reduction starting in less than 8 months on the 1st of January 2017. The rebate will reduce by one fifteenth of its current amount on the first day of each new year until 2030 and will end on the 31st of December that year. At the start of 2017, the rebate of $3,990 that most Australians would receive at the moment for a 5 kilowatt rooftop solar system will fall by around $266 down to $3,724. The phase out encourages Australians to install rooftop solar sooner rather than later. [Read more…]

Clean Energy Council report throws down the gauntlet to lawmakers

power shift CEC report

The Clean Energy Council have released a good report outlining the policy steps needed to transition to clean energy. But will anybody read it?

A Clean Energy Council report released last week makes for intriguing reading folks.

Building on the recent Paris agreements, where countries agreed to limit carbon emissions to limit global warming to 2 degrees or below, the study challenges our leaders to think seriously about how to carry out such a plan. [Read more…]

Deal or no deal? Renewable energy target negotiations hit tipping point

deal or no deal logo

The future of the renewable energy industry has come to this.

So is it deal or no deal? What is the current state of the renewable energy target negotiations between the government and the Senate?

Last week a split appeared to form in the previously rock-solid front put forward by the organisations lobbying on behalf of the renewable energy sector. The break was instigated by the Clean Energy Council which called for the target to be reduced to 33,500 gigawatt hours from the promised figure of 41,000 as an acceptable compromise.

The CEC’s figure, contained in a letter to the Prime Minister, is in itself a reduction from its own bargaining position of the “mid to high 30,000s” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. [Read more…]

The role of renewables in the Victorian election

vote paper

Were Victorians Sick Of the Liberal’s Anti Renewables Agenda?

Sometimes satire says it best. As one superbly entertaining online news company put it, this week saw the Victorian electorate dump “Whatisname” in favour of “Thatotherguy”. Labor’s Daniel Andrews (“Thatotherguy”) gave the federal Liberals a huge shake when he ousted the Liberal Party’s Denis Napthine, the first time since 1955 that a Victorian government has been ousted in one term. However we at SolarQuotes are digging deeper, asking how much the federal government’s prolonged and rasping attack on renewable energy played its part in the Vic Libs’ stunning loss. [Read more…]

Forget “real 20 percent”, what are the real benefits of going solar?


God forbid that pesky wind and solar breaches 20% !

God forbid that pesky wind and solar breaches 20% !

The dust continues to swirl on one of the most divisive energy issues in recent years — the government’s attempted slashing of the RET to the so-called “real 20 percent”. We’ll discuss this but really, is this the debate we should be having in this day and age? We’re going to focus on the bigger picture, the debate we should be having: the one on the real benefits of going solar.

This week saw a political sleight-of-hand that we’ve come to expect from the seat polishers in Canberra. Under the guise of “adjusting” the Rudd government’s 20 percent of renewables by 2020, the government has put together a policy that will divide the nation. The so-called “real 20 percent” effectively slashes the RET for large-scale developers by one-third. For sure it will have “real” problems for many solar providers, with many seeing it as an underhand attempt to push through legislation that will cripple the renewable energy industry. [Read more…]

Why Labor Need To Hold Firm On The RET

The government’s starting RET offer which reduces the legislated, previously bipartisan, and pre-election commitment of 41,000 gigawatt hours per year of renewable energy down to 27,000 has been turned down by the Labor Party. Why? Not just because of the environment, but because of economics.

By cutting the target almost in half, billions of dollars invested in the creation of solar and wind power generating devices will go to waste, and billions of dollars of investment will not happen. The 100 job losses at a wind turbine component manufacturer in Portland, Vic announced yesterday is just the beginning.  Not to mention that power prices would continue to climb due to expensive fossil fuels picking up the slack.

Abbott and his cronies are trying to destroy a policy they promised not to touch.  Then when Labor won’t co-operate they blame the opposition for the uncertainty that is destroying businesses. Read more about this story here.

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