Solar Choice News

Australia can reach 100 per cent renewable energy says CSIRO

February 24, 2017
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The nation’s chief scientific body has advised there are no technical barriers to prevent Australia from achieving 100 per cent renewables on its electricity grid, and that levels of around 30 per cent were just “trivial”. The comments were made by CSIRO lead energy research scientist Paul Graham at the Senate select committee into the […]

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Victorian government to build Australia’s first grid scale battery storage facility

February 22, 2017
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Victoria’s Labor government is calling for expressions of interest to build a 20MW battery storage array, in what would likely be Australia’s first grid scale battery storage facility. The 20MW battery storage facility is being earmarked for western Victoria, where the Australian Energy Market Operator has identified opportunities to improve grid stability, and where many […]

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US-based solar tower and storage developer surprised of Australia’s “new coal” pursuits

February 21, 2017
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US-based solar tower and storage developer SolarReserve has expressed surprise that Australia’s federal government is pursuing “new coal” plants, saying that solar towers with storage beats coal on just about all fronts. Tom Georgis, the company’s head of international development, says solar towers and storage can match and beat coal on capability – providing baseload […]

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2016 was a record-breaking year for Australian solar

February 20, 2017
Australian solar 2016

At one point, 2016 looked like an abysmal year for Australian solar. But 2016 turned out to be record breaking year for solar, in many regards. You’ll get all the information you need here, but here are some of the highlights. Though the headline utility-scale figures indicate a come-down of mammoth proportions, it was always […]

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Battery storage: better at peaking than gas in South Australia

February 20, 2017

An alternative to building more gas peaking plants in South Australia – which would take years and require hard-to-get-gas – is to build a lithium battery storage plant to act as a peaker. Lithium batteries can provide the same service as a peaking gas plant only better. In addition to stopping high prices they can […]

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Rooftop solar saved the day, but households got paid a pittance

February 18, 2017
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Solar power played a major role in reducing stress on grids in Queensland and New South Wales during the massive heatwave late last week, but were solar households fairly rewarded for their contribution? As we reported last week, coal and gas dependent Queensland has recorded more than 40 more high priced events in 2017 than […]

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The PM has battery storage added to his solar system at his Point Piper mansion

February 17, 2017
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Amid the threat of summer power blackouts in the NSW, it has emerged that Australian Prime Mininster Malcolm Turnbull has added battery storage to the solar system at his harbourside mansion in Sydney’s Point Piper. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell a friend Related PostsThe 1.5GW Hazelwood brown […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – February 2017

February 14, 2017
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Despite the decrease in the incentive available under the federal Renewable Energy Target that came in effect from last month, average solar PV system prices have moved little, according to our data. Although this month did see a slight reduction in prices (down to $1.60 per watt from $1.62/W in February), this is mainly attributable to changes in […]

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SA govt to install rooftop solar at 40 different schools

February 13, 2017
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South Australia will install rooftop solar systems at 40 schools across the state, as part of a $15 million scheme to help the education sector cut power costs and further reduce the state’s carbon emissions. As well as funding the solar installations, the scheme will give another 200 schools grants of $250,000 to switch to […]

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Clean energy start-up accelerator program launches in Sydney

February 11, 2017

A program dedicated to seed-funding and mentoring renewable and advanced energy startups is being launched in Sydney, in an effort to bridge Australia’s clean energy investment “valley of death”. The EnergyLab Acceleration Program is being launched by EnergyLab in conjunction with newly established public-private partnership, Climate-KIC Australia, which is based on the success of Climate-KIC […]

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NSW facing blackouts on Friday due to extreme heatwave

February 10, 2017
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New South Wales faces rolling blackouts on Friday as the extraordinary summer heatwave continues across Australia, and after South Australia’s grid faced similar problems on Wednesday. The Australian Energy Market Operator warned on Thursday morning that the heat-wave, which will send temperatures soaring as high as 45°C in Sydney suburbs, could mean there is not […]

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Fossil fuel generators, not renewables should be blamed for high energy prices

February 9, 2017
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The Australian Energy Regulator has been investigating more than half a dozen “high priced” events on the National Electricity Market, and some of the reports it has already completed make astonishing reading. Take the events of last November 18 in New South Wales, when the spot price of electricity jumped to more than $11,700/MWh in […]

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New damning report on coal-fired power generation in Australia

February 7, 2017
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Independent energy research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance has released a damning report on new ultra-super critical coal-fired power generation in Australia, describing it as “the most expensive form of new energy supply,” at more than three times the cost of renewables. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell […]

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Malcolm Turnbull lays out his thoughts on renewable energy in his NPC address

February 4, 2017
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Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has laid out his thoughts on renewable energy, electricity pricing and supply, as well as on “clean coal” and gas, describing energy as a “defining debate of this parliament” in his National Press Club address on Wednesday. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell […]

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Victoria’s Labor Government Steps Up on Climate Action

February 1, 2017
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Victoria’s Labor government has upped the ante on climate action, pledging to cut state emissions by up to 20 per cent within three years on the road to its ultimate target of zero net emissions by 2050. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell a friend Related PostsQueensland’s three […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for January 2016

January 12, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices continue at about $1.25/W for the fourth month in a row, starting off the new year with no eventful news. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target as well as GST, but do not incorporate meter installation fees […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – January 2017

January 12, 2017
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Average solar system prices for the new year continue to hover around $1.62/W, as they have for the past six months or so. Smaller systems (1.5kW – 2kW) continue to be the dearest on a $/W basis, while larger systems (5kW – 10kW) offer the greatest value in terms of peak output capacity. By our […]

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Modelling from government advisor shows high RET may be cheapest option

December 16, 2016
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Modelling from the federal government’s preferred energy market advisor reveals that a high renewable energy target offers the cheapest avenue for consumers to reach the country’s modest emissions reduction targets for 2030. The latest modelling from Frontier Economics, a long-time critic of the RET, are based on a cost of large-scale solar plants that assumes […]

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NSW & QLD stand against reforms that could help keep prices down for consumers

December 16, 2016
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The Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales are standing in the way of reforms that the Australian Energy Regulator says will help put a lid on network costs and keep prices down for consumers. Queensland, which retains its networks, and New South Wales, which will retain most of its while it leases some, […]

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100% renewable energy grid will provide “reliable, robust and stable” supply of electricity

December 16, 2016
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Another Australian study has reaffirmed that shifting the NEM to a 100 per cent renewable energy grid would provide a “robust, reliable and stable” supply of clean electricity. The discussion paper, released on Friday by not-for-profit group the Alternative Technology Association, found that a fully renewable electricity grid would provide long-term economic and social benefits […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – December 2016

December 15, 2016
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Average solar PV system prices for December sit at roughly $1.62 per watt ($1.62/W). Average system prices in Australia have hovered around this price point since about July of 2016, although there have been some changes on a city-by-city and size-by-size basis. Average solar PV system prices for December 2016 Prices in the table below include […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for December 2016

December 15, 2016
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Average commercial solar system prices saw virtually no change betwen November and December, according to data from the Solar Choice database. Prices have hovered around the $1.25 mark since September. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target as well as GST, but do […]

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$100 million battery storage project to be developed in South Australia

December 13, 2016
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A $100 million battery storage project is set to be developed in South Australia, in an effort to demonstrate that grid connected stationary energy storage can be a cheaper and more secure option than new transmission lines or gas plants. The project is a collaboration between RES, one of the world’s biggest developers of battery […]

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Will the federal incentive for rooftop solar end next year?

December 13, 2016
Rooftop solar panels

Judging by some of the advertisements we’ve come across, you might be forgiven for thinking that Australia’s federal rooftop solar incentives (under the Renewable Energy Target) were on their way out the door. In this article we’ve set the record straight. (This article was originally published in May 2016.) What we’ve been hearing: ‘The solar […]

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Rooftop Solar Subsidy to be reduced on 1 January 2017

December 12, 2016
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An Australia-wide, upfront subsidy for rooftop solar systems is set to be reduced within a few weeks when the “deeming period” for solar systems declines from 15 years to 14 years on January 1. The long-standing rebate for the purchase of rooftop solar systems is based on the estimated output of a system over 15 […]

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Solar Choice manages tender for 1.77MW solar installation at Charles Sturt Uni

December 8, 2016
CSU logo small

Charles Sturt University is to install one of the largest rooftop solar installations in Australia for its campus in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Solar Choice managed the competitive tender for the project, which will have a peak capacity of 1.77 megawatts (MW) and will meet roughly 20% of CSU’s energy demand annually. The system will be more […]

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Solar Choice brokers 100kW solar system for Balmoral Orchard in QLD

December 7, 2016
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Solar Choice has managed the tender for a 100kW solar system for Balmoral Orchard, an avocado farm outside of Toowoomba, Queensland. The orchard’s manager first approached Solar Choice in May 2016 looking for assistance with their large quarterly energy bills. Following the initial conversation with the manager, the land owner promptly called to introduce himself. He was […]

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CSIRO: Wind and Solar to provide nearly all Australia’s electricity needs by 2050

December 6, 2016
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A major new study by the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia says wind and solar will provide nearly all Australia’s electricity needs by 2050, and the system will be cheaper for all customers. The study found that a decarbonised energy grid by 2050, with half of generation produced and stored locally, will save billions in […]

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Link to export solar from WA to Indonesia could be viable

December 6, 2016
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The development of a 2000km sub-sea cable to supply Indonesia with solar power generated in Australia’s north-west has been described as financially viable and possible within the decade. The West Australian reports that a private consultant, hired by the Pilbara Development Commission, is investigating the establishment of an underwater link to transport solar from the […]

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A Change in market rules will help reduce wholesale energy prices

December 4, 2016
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While the Coalition and the fossil fuel lobby has tried to use blackouts in South Australia as an excuse to go slow on renewables and abolish state-based targets, others are pushing for a rethink about electricity market rules and operations so the grid can embrace 21st technology and practices. A new report has highlighted how […]

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Retailers achieve big win in battle for behind-the-meter market

December 2, 2016
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Australia’s electricity retailers have won a major victory in the battle over access to the nation’s lucrative solar and battery storage market, after the Australian Energy Regulator effectively ruled networks out of the game. The AER’s new guideline – effective Thursday, but to be fully implemented by network distribution businesses by January 01, 2018 – […]

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