Renewable energy grant mechanisms 'need evaluating'

10th Feb 2012

The government's Solar Flagship scheme has been largely unsuccessful so far because it has chosen to invest in the wrong technologies, one group has emphasised.

Beyond Zero Emissions explained that a large-scale solar plant, such as the Moree Solar Photovoltaic Plant, was set to be a failure from the start.

Director of the group Matthew Wright suggested that this scheme was unlikely to work because it "involves a huge greenfield deployment of PV technology which is ideally suited to being nested in the grid".

Instead, it should be installed on the rooftops of houses and businesses where it is able to make a real difference, the expert indicated.

"Leading renewable energy economies like Germany, Spain, Italy and China, favour placing rooftop solar on your local supermarket or hardware store rooftop, or at home where very little needs to be spent on integrating the technology and paybacks are sooner," Mr Wright commented.

This is ultimately a product that is able to compete in the retail electricity market by improving the economic situation considerably.

As a result, Mr Wright explained that there is little point in creating a product that has competitive retail pricing and then placing it in the wholesale market.

"It's like asking your local Woolworths to compete with Metcash or the Footscray Wholesale Fruitand Vegetable market," he quipped.

Instead, the only place for photovoltaics in a large-scale solar plant is when it is hybridised with a solar thermal facility kitted out with 12 to 16 hours of storage, added the expert.

This report follows a decision by the government to reopen applications for a solar energy grant, after Moree Solar Farm was unable to attract the private financing it needed.

Furthermore, the project underwent a number of changes in relation to the original submission.

All of the shortlisted applicants – AGL, Infigen-Suntech and TRUenergy – will therefore be able to re-enter their bids for funding, which will be considered by the Solar Flagships Council.

The government expressed that it is seeking to back the best solar PV project available at the current time, as well as providing support for solar energy projects and technologies.

Attempts are being made to reinvigorate the solar electricity market after the cost of panels dropped by around 70 per cent over the past two years.

A decision on the latest round of funding is expected to be made in the second quarter of 2012.

Posted by Bob Dawson


All solar power news categories

Government Rebate & Regulations
Solar Power & Technology

More Government Rebate & Regulations

The election that could cast a deep shadow on solar power
This just in: You are nothing but a means to profit for big utilities and NSW government
The Tongans know a bad solar deal when they see one
Solar feed-in tariffs: Who's getting screwed?
Australian government at a solar power crossroads
WA government admits fault in solar rebate debacle
WA Government saves millions while solar customers are up in arms
SA's solar feed-in scheme costs to rise higher
CEC slams FIT deregulation in SA
Carbon tax announcement 'just a ripple'
Industry reactions to Rudd carbon price changes
New government 'must be made aware of renewable achievements'
Solar features prominently in ARENA funding plans
Calling all solar panel installers - 'save clean technology grants'
Manufacturers set to see bright side of economic slump?
Coalition government 'could spell bad news for solar'
'Not FIT for purpose' - ACT government on tariffs
QLD government under fire for negative solar stance
China's first trading emissions scheme begins
Details of the Queensland solar controversy
Solar panel reprieve for Queensland
Tasmania's solar future no longer too uncertain
Renewable energy funding on the brink
The Clean Energy Council calls for more renewables
Reactions to renewable energy decisions from the 2013-14 federal budget
Federal budget announcement offers a mixed bag
The impact of the carbon tax
Govt energy efficiency success
Renewable Energy Target achievements
New funding for solar panels
Australia and China further carbon cutting collaboration
Examining Australia's environmental efforts
Renewable Energy Target survives its review
Solar powered cinema a possibility
New licensing will make it easier for solar installers to work across states
Renewable recommendations for WA
Renewable energy target hangs in the balance
Deadline approaching for QLD PV installations under 44 cent solar tariff
Electricity emissions down since carbon tax introduced
Reactions to RET review final report mixed
CCA: RET on track to achieve goals
Experts slam Solar Credits decision
Government support 'needed for commercial solar development'
Shadow ministers slam ARENA withdrawal
Industry expert lauds solar PV impact
Australian Solar Council chief hits back at CCA review suggestion
Australian Solar Council debuts solar electorate map
CCA report 'victory for common sense'
Productivity Commission draft 'good for solar'
SA solar campaign reaches government level
 To get your quotes, please enter your postcode: