IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:
The upfront approx 30-40% federal subsidy for solar power is under imminent threat. To protect your subsidy use your Solar Choice Quote Comparison to immediately generate an online contract with your preferred installer, any time of the day or night including weekends. Why?

On Thurs, 28 Aug 2014 the federal govt released long-awaited recommendations from the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Review that will either abolish the upfront federal subsidy for solar energy, or severely slash it, for systems up to 100kW.

An announcement from the Govt as to which option it will choose is imminent. Contracts entered into prior to any announcement will protect your subsidy.

How can I generate an online contract immediately to protect the subsidy?

1. Simply complete the green form on this page to obtain your impartial Quote Comparison of leading installers covering your area.

2. Select three installers that best suit your needs and budget to reveal their names and logos, then select your prefered installer by clicking "View and Accept Quote".

3. Follow instructions on deposit payment options, following which you will be emailed a PDF of your Accepted Quote (as will your selected installer who'll contact you, and Solar Choice).

Your subsidy will then very likely be protected under transitional provisions recommended by the RET Review.

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A local government initiative in NSW is proposing the development of six solar projects, to showcase and test a variety of photovoltaic and concentrating solar thermal technologies.

The initiative, spearheaded by a group of 32 NSW councils accounting for two-thirds of the state’s area, would see each participant install around half a megawatt of PV in various sites around their electorate.

The voluntary alliance, called the Solar Energy eXchange Initiative – or the SEXI proposal, hopes to attract federal government funding of up to $200 million over five to six years for the six solar projects, worth about $30 million each.

The first of these projects would focus on solar PV, with each local council installing approximately 0.4 MW of PV panels at a number of sites, and monitoring sunshine levels, cloud formations, and electricity production of the panels. Read the full article →

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Report shows path for Victoria to generate jobs, revenue through clean energy-friendly policy

October 23, 2014
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Victoria could save tens of millions of dollars and generate hundreds of jobs by tweaking current policy settings on small-scale solar and energy efficiency, a new report has found. The report, issued on Wednesday by the Clean Energy Council, highlights how easy it would be for the Victorian state government save costs, boost jobs – and provide […]

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Coalition draws lines for start to negotiations on Renewable Energy Target’s future

October 23, 2014
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The Coalition has come out swinging–albeit not as furiously is it might have–in negotiations over the future of the Renewable Energy Target. Key to the Government’s initial position on the scheme are the proposals that the 2020 target be reduced to a ‘real 20%’ and that emissions-intensive industries be exempted from their RET compliance obligations. […]

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USA distributed solar PV costs dropped 12-19% in 2013

October 22, 2014
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The price of distributed solar PV systems in the US dropped by between 12 and 19 per cent in 2013 – and will likely fall by up to 12 per cent more this year, a new report has found. The US Department of Energy report – the third edition of a joint analysis on PV […]

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APVI slams Australian Energy Market Commission over unfair, ineffective tariff structures

October 22, 2014
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The Australian Photovoltaic Institute has issued a scathing critique of proposed guidelines for electricity network pricing and tariffs, arguing that instead of reducing consumer bills, the new regimes will simply act to further protect network revenues. In a submission to the Australian Energy Regulator, APVI is highly critical of the recent pricing deliberations by the […]

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Thermal electricity storage inspired by hang-gliders

October 21, 2014
Isentropic energy storage system

UK‑firm ‘Isentropic’ has developed a pumped heat electricity storage (PHES) system for cheap and convenient distributed grid storage, with a projected levelised cost of storage (LCOS) below industry‑leading hydroelectric storage. Founding member and Technical Director, Jonathan Howes, credits hang‑glider thermals as the inspiration behind the technology. Rather than store electricity in the form of a […]

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Energy storage steadily gaining steam globally, as coal looks set for a long, slow decline

October 20, 2014
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Even as Tony Abbott spruiks reactionary about coal’s benefits to humankind, a massive revolution is undoubtedly underway in the world’s energy sector–whether he cares to acknowledge it or not. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar are gaining increasingly prominent footholds in the global energy sector, and analysts from a number of major financial firms […]

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Australian Energy Regulator warns networks: Accommodate prosumers or they will ‘walk away’ & go off-grid

October 18, 2014
Thumbnail image for Australian Energy Regulator warns networks: Accommodate prosumers or they will ‘walk away’ & go off-grid

The rise of the energy “prosumer” will lead to a revolution in Australia’s energy market, the Australian Energy Regulator says – and the consequences for some in the industry could be disastrous. With electricity consumers increasingly able – and willing – to generate and store their own electricity, the AER has warned that unless models […]

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Magellan power’s Solar Smoother deployed at Carnarvon’s new Police Complex

October 16, 2014
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WA-based power product engineering company Magellan has seen its Australian-made Solar Smoother put to use for the first time at a new Police and Justice Complex in regional WA. Carnarvon, whose name was once synonymous with the issues associated with an overload of solar PV on a fragile grid, is now home to one of the […]

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‘The Green Electricity Guide’ reveals electricity retailers’ stance on renewable energy

October 16, 2014
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Earlier this year Greenpeace released ‘The Green Electricity Guide’ – an online resource aiming to “help inform Australians about which electricity retailers really are as [environmentally-friendly] as they say they are”. The guide offers a breakdown and ranking of electricity retailers in each separate state or territory, as well as an overall national ranking. Retailers […]

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Xenophon, while withholding comment on RET, says small-scale solar should be expanded

October 15, 2014
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As the Abbott government attempts to wrangle its proposed changes to the Renewable Energy Target, the future for the solar industry brightened a little, after independent senator Nick Xenophon signalled his support for solar PV, particularly of the rooftop variety, and reiterated his opposition to wind. “I don’t like wind,” Xenophon told a conference in […]

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Fluidised bed reactors to enable low cost silicon solar cells

October 15, 2014
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In order to make crystalline silicon solar cells, cell producers need micron-thin wafers of exceptional purity. The majority of base silicon material–referred to as ‘polysilicon’–used for producing high purity silicon is made using the Siemens process, a silicon refining method which is effective but very energy intensive. More recently, fluidised bed reactor (FBR) technology has […]

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Who owns the generation capacity in Australia? WattClarity takes a look

October 15, 2014

A chart recently published by electricity market watchdogs WattClarity yield fascinating insight into where Australia’s electricity originates–and who owns the power plants that produce it. Abundantly clear in the chart–which does not include generators on Western Australia’s grid system–is the very small number of companies that dominate the electricity generation market. Most notably, AGL, with […]

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Commercial PV Price Index – October 2014

October 14, 2014
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In addition to the Residential Solar PV Price Index that Solar Choice publishes monthly,  we also publish pricing data for commercial systems (10kW, 30kW, 50kW and 100kW). This article contains pricing data for October 2014. All figures include GST as well as the STC incentive available through Australia’s federal Renewable Energy Target. According to the data […]

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Zero Export Controls Australia: Solutions to limit solar feed-in to the grid

October 14, 2014
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The need for devices with solar export control capabilities has grown in recent years as utilities have imposed rules and regulations aimed at preventing issues (such as voltage rise) associated with the feeding of excess power from solar PV systems into the grid. The CEC2000, CEC3000 and CEC-RCU, all Australian-made export devices by Zero Export Controls […]

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Energy storage costs could beat conventional generation costs by 2017

October 13, 2014
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The cost of battery storage could beat that of conventional energy generation within two to three years and could go as low as $100/kWh, a new report has found. In a report based around a discussion with Navigant research, investment bank UBS says the $230/kWh for battery storage mark will be reached by the broader […]

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China leads as world solar PV market approaches 20GW in Q4 2014

October 13, 2014
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New data on global solar installations has shown that the world is on track to reach 200GW of cumulative capacity, with the amount of PV added in the fourth quarter of 2014 forecast to fall just short of 20 gigawatts. The latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly suggests that the amount of solar PV deployed worldwide in Q4 […]

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Let there be light: Australian churches switching on solar power

October 10, 2014
Thumbnail image for Let there be light: Australian churches switching on solar power

Homes and businesses are not the only ones investing in solar power in Australia: with electricity prices soaring and environmental concerns at the forefront of the minds of many, religious organisations are also looking to turn the sun to their advantage. Since 2008, Solar Choice has been approached by a wide variety of churches (varying […]

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Prof Ray Wills says 80% of world’s energy needs will be met through self-generated renewables by 2040

October 10, 2014
Thumbnail image for Prof Ray Wills says 80% of world’s energy needs will be met through self-generated renewables by 2040

A WA academic and energy advisor has predicted that 80 per cent of the world’s energy will come from self-generated renewable energy, like rooftop solar, by as soon as 2040. Ray Wills, adjunct professor at the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Western Australia, believes the “utility death spiral” is already well underway, […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – October 2014

October 10, 2014
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With the exception of Brisbane and (in some cases) Perth, average solar PV prices have continued to drop across all of the cities included in Solar Choice’s monthly analysis, falling down to $1.84/W from $1.89/W between September and October. As mentioned in last month’s article, this decline appears to be a function of slimming installer margins, […]

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PM’s cabinet considering rejection of RET Review recommendations: Financial Review

October 9, 2014
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The Prime Minister’s office looks set to disregard the key recommendations handed to the government by the Renewable Energy Target Review panel last month, according to the Australian Financial Review, with one source commenting that the panel’s report was “only ever a starting point” for deliberations over the future of the scheme. Unnamed sources say that ministers […]

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