WA Hikes Electricity Bills 20% For Poorest, 1% For Billionaires


rich vs poor

Supply charge rises in WA will hurt the poorest the most.

On the first of July electricity prices increased in Western Australia.  This was not a surprise as the state government had announced prices would be increasing over the next three years.  The surprise was they increased them in the worst possible way. [Read more…]

WA Solar Power: a template for the future of energy in Australia

WA leads the way for solar power adoption

WA leads the way for solar power adoption

A recent study underlining the popularity of rooftop solar in WA has given Australians a glimpse into the country’s solar-driven energy future. For a survey conducted by Curtin University that has everyone talking is the one that shows power generated from rooftop solar systems in the state’s South-West Interconnected System (SWIS) produce as much energy as the state’s largest power station.

“We are in the extraordinary position of saying that Perth [SWIS] now has rooftop solar as the largest supplier of electricity, it’s the biggest power station in WA,” said Curtin University sustainability professor Peter Newman to the ABC AM program.

He added that the area currently has 20 percent coverage of solar panels, though this was just the beginning. [Read more…]

Solar + Flywheel Microgrid Saves 400,000 Litres of Diesel Annually

solar diesel

Solar has been installed with a huge flywheel to smooth its output in WA. The result is a town that is 60% solar powered, and a 400,000 litre reduction in annual diesel usage. Great Aussie innovation!

We’ve all seen the success of solar energy in our cities and regional towns. Australians are voting with their rooftops for clean, green solar power and the trend is increasing as solar reaches grid parity. But what of communities in our vast Outback? What of our small remote towns currently reliant on polluting fossil fuels such as diesel? It is here that microgrids, solar energy and the Outback are coming together to create a new, cleaner energy future.

In doing so, these microgrids for remote communities are giving the country a glimpse of a new way of accessing energy. [Read more…]

WA government gives ground on solar energy purchase agreements

Perth skyline

It is now a lot easier for for WA and Perth Solar Installers to sell Power Purchase Agreements (or PPAs)

It’s not often that the Clean Energy Council and a conservative government agree on funding for solar energy purchase agreements but this week appears to have achieved that very scenario. For the West Australian government — that bastion of conservatism west of Adelaide — has introduced a scheme which will make it easier for customers to access solar energy.

The key is the removal of certain restrictions on solar power purchase agreements (PPAs), said Clean Energy Council WA Manager Dermot Costello. He added that the proposed change could help households and businesses make an informed choice about benefit from solar power, according to a CEC press release. [Read more…]

Big Clive throws weight behind 20 percent renewable energy target. Or does he?

clive palmer

Thumbs up for Solar? Or not?

Well the big solar news this week was provided by a Big Man. Big Clive to be precise. Yes finally the message of sustainability, affordability and keeping the environment for future generations was played out through the mainstream media. More precisely through Big Clive Palmer’s endorsement of his W.A. Senate PUP candidate’s ringing praise for the 20 percent renewable energy target.

Splattered all over the front pages and on our national broadcaster was the man famous for bloody big holes in the ground, Titanics, grandiose press conferences, collecting mining leases and pouring billions into the formation of his very own lobby group…er political party. [Read more…]

Solar power users left fuming at betrayal in the West

WA premier ripping up contract

This numpty thinks he can rip up 75,000 commercial contracts!

It was a grim atmosphere here at the SQHQ bunker earlier this week as Finn popped his head around the corner to deliver the news of the solar power betrayal in the West.

He was talking of course of Premier Colin “The Backstabber” Barnett and his chair sniffing mate “Two-up” Troy Buswell to slash the feed-in tariff in Western Australia from 40c to 20c in the next year. The decision, which (call me cynical) coincides with attempts to bend over backwards for the state’s fossil fuel giants, will affect 75,000 WA households that installed solar from mid 2010 to 2011 on the promise of the 40c level. The cuts renege on a 10-year agreement to maintain solar feed-in tariffs in WA. [Read more…]

Is Commercial Solar Worth It? Ask This Mining Company…


a commercial solar system on a roof

Companies are voting with their wallets when it comes to commercial solar systems

Hot on the heels of our posts last week about the amazing returns commercial solar can bestow upon savvy businesses and  Aussie bankers putting their hands in their pockets to support solar energy projects came the news that WA mining equipment company Diab Engineering has backed solar energy by installing a rooftop solar system at its head office.

Which is interesting solar fans. [Read more…]

WA Labor on solar power: trick or treat?

perth at dusk

Is WA Labor’s idea to let Joe Public buy solar on government roofs a goer?

How serious is the West Australian Labor Party’s offer to open up the state’s renewable energy market should it win power in this month’s election? Superb, groundbreaking idea to include all in the solar power revolution? Or as one of our Facebook Page readers succinctly put it; is it a case of “promises, promises”? [Read more…]

What is solar tower technology?

News that the Perth-based renewable energy company Hyperion Energy is planning to build a solar tower in mid-west Western Australia sent your correspondent scurrying to the research files this week.

According to the company website, Hyperion have purchased a 127,000 hectare site near the town of Tuckanarra. The site is near mines and an airport and is judged to have a low risk of natural disasters such as earthquakes or cyclones. Chiefly though, the main advantage of the site for the location of a solar tower is the “horizon solar radiation of 2300MJ/m2” (read huge), according to the company.

The theory behind the solar tower technology sounds simple enough. A flat, large expanse of a greenhouse-like material is spread around the base of a tall tower. When the sun heats the air under the material it rises (remember your science?) and as such has only one place where it can go: the central solar tower (see diagram). The hot air is forced through the narrow space of the tower where it causes a wind which turns a number of turbines inside the tower.


Diagram showing how a solar tower works.

Hyperion points to three key advantages of solar tower technology over other forms of tapping the sun’s energy.

[Read more…]

Carbon Tax and Government Support – the Other Side of the Coin

Last week we examined the point of view of academic Mark Diesendorf who stated that the much villified carbon tax will probably be insufficient to encourage renewable energy investment in Australia. This week we look at the opposing view and find that overseas renewable energy companies are indeed putting their hands in their pockets to fund renewable energy schemes in Australia, particularly those looking at exploiting our abundant sun.

These companies are looking at taking advantage of the positive renewable funding climate in our country, support which is expected to be funded through revenue supplied by the contentious carbon tax. [Read more…]

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