From the category archives:

Solar and Renewable Energy Policy

Residential Solar PV Price Index – October 2017

October 17, 2017
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Average solar system prices hold stable for the third month in a row, with the average price per watt ($/W) for an residential solar system installation coming in at about $1.44/W. The most popular and best value solar system size is still 5kW, costing about $1.14/W or $5,700 for a fully installed system. (Due to […]

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Which electricity retailer is giving the best solar feed-in tariff?

October 16, 2017
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Feed-in tariffs in Australia: How they’ve changed Solar feed-in tariffs are arrangements where a solar system owner is paid for the solar energy that they send into the grid. At one point in time, feed-in tariffs were mandatory in every state in Australia, and the rates they offered were quite generous. Much has changed, however, since we […]

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What if you sent all of your solar into the grid? Is it worth it?

September 29, 2017
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If you’ve got solar, the way to maximise your electricity bill savings these days is to use your solar energy directly within your home (or business). From an investment point of view, the conventional wisdom is that the worst thing you could do with the solar energy that your roof produces is to send it […]

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New poll confirms that battery is popularity skyrocketing

September 28, 2017
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A new poll has confirmed the increasing popularity of home battery storage in Australia, as households look to reduce their dependence on expensive grid-supplied electricity, and cut soaring power bills. The Reachtel poll, commissioned by the Climate Council, found that 74 per cent of people surveyed from across Australia expect household batteries to be commonplace […]

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4 interesting alternatives to the ‘Big 3’ electricity retailers

September 26, 2017
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If you want to reduce your electricity bills, the first place you should look is your choice of electricity retailer, which is the company that sells you electricity. Although some people are unaware of it, in most parts of Australia you’re not stuck with a monopolistic ‘utility’ – you can pick and choose from a […]

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Solar system size limits: How much does your local network allow?

September 20, 2017
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What’s the upper limit to the amount of solar panel capacity that you can put on your roof? This is actually a multi-layered question that involves your roof area, your energy saving goals and any applicable restrictions imposed by your local electricity network company. This article touches on all these factors, but focuses mainly on […]

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Looking beyond solar feed-in tariffs: How to pick an electricity retailer

September 18, 2017
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When solar system owners shop around for an electricity retailer, the first thing they tend to look at is the solar feed-in tariff rate that the retailer offers. The fact is, however, that solar feed-in tariffs are no longer as important as they once were – so what else should solar system owners look for in […]

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South Australian rooftop solar pushes state-wide electricity demand to record low

September 13, 2017

South Australia’s high rooftop solar penetration has helped to deliver record low demand for the state over the weekend, hitting 786MW at around 2pm on Sunday.At the time, rooftop solar accounted for 36 per cent (445MW) of electricity demand in the state, generated by the 761MW of small-scale rooftop solar on homes and businesses in the state. South […]

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Queensland regional solar feed-in tariff now available to systems up to 30kW

September 8, 2017
Ergon network in Queensland

In a stroke of very good news for solar power in the Sunshine State, the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has announced that the solar feed-in tariff available to solar system owners in regional parts of the state will apply for systems up to 30 kilowatts (30kW) in capacity. Until the QCA’s decision, the limit was […]

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Coal port of Newcastle to get 5MW solar farm

September 6, 2017
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Plans to develop a 5MW solar farm on a former landfill site in the NSW coal port city of Newcastle are set to go to tender, after eight companies were shortlisted to bid for the job to design, build and operate the utility-scale solar farm. The project, which was opened to expressions of interest in […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – September 2017

September 5, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices are roughly on par with last month’s figures – about $1.43 per watt for a fully installed system. 5kW systems continue to offer the best value for money, at about $1.13/W, or about $5,600. Average solar PV system prices for September 2017 Prices in the table below include both the […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for September 2017

September 5, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices continue to hover around $1.20 per watt for the month of September, following an STC-driven increase between July and August. 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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Retrofitting battery storage in Brisbane: Some example case studies

August 29, 2017
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We recently published an article containing a number of example case studies about retrofitting solar battery storage in Sydney. This time around we’ll be taking a look at the case for retrofitting batteries in sunny Brisbane. In addition to the fact that Brisbane gets more sun, the circumstances around retrofitting batteries in Brisbane – and […]

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SA to install 30MW battery bank

August 25, 2017
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South Australia is set to install another large-scale battery storage system, this time to be located on the Yorke Peninsula in, as part of a renewables-based mini-grid with the nearby Wattle Point wind farm. The $30 million, 30MW/80MWh project, which will get $12 million grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, is the result of […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for August 2017

August 24, 2017

August saw a slight increase in average commercial solar system prices as compared to July, due to a combination of price modifications due to changes in the value of STCs as well as slight changes to the composition of our network of installers. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

August 23, 2017
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When it comes to solar power in Australia, lots of things have changed in the last few years. If you’re currently shopping around for a solar system, perhaps the most important thing you need to keep in mind is this: You’ll get the most out of your solar panels by consuming the energy they produce while it […]

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What are the best cities for home solar battery storage? (August 2017 update)

August 7, 2017
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Having just published an article on the state of Australia’s battery storage market at the beginning of 2017 (recently updated), we decided we would endeavour to shed a bit more light on payback period differences between each capital city. Which cities have the best conditions for home solar battery storage? We’ve ranked them below (with an […]

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Is home solar battery storage worth it in 2017? (August update)

August 7, 2017
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Since 2015 Australians have been talking about home battery storage being on the cusp of financial viability. Are home batteries worth the investment in 2017? We’ve crunched the number for all of Australia’s capital cities to find out. This article was originally published in February 2017. It was last updated on 7 August 2017 to […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – August 2017

August 3, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices have risen slightly following two consecutive months at their lowest levels since Solar Choice began keeping track in August 2012. This month’s higher average price – $1.55 per watt, as opposed to $1.45/W last month- is undoubtedly due at least in part to the recent drop in STC values and […]

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Interested in batteries? NSW Government’s Home Solar Battery Guide is a must-read – no matter which state you live in

July 27, 2017
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Earlier this year the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment commissioned Total Environment Centre, Alternative Technology Association and Zumio to produce a guidebook for state residents interested in battery storage for their home. The end product – the NSW Home Solar Battery Guide – was released earlier this month and is an essential […]

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Report describes Australian electricity utopia – that doesn’t seem to exist

July 24, 2017
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A new report from Australia’s principal electricity market rule-maker has sought to portray a utopian image where consumers believe they are getting value for money and face only one blight on the horizon – the Renewable Energy Target. The Australian Energy Market Commission’s Retail Energy Competition Review, issued on Tuesday, puts the level of customer satisfaction as gauged by […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for July 2017

July 24, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain mostly unchanged at about $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) between June and July 2017. 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 or additional costs, such as ground-mounting, […]

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STC prices are falling: What you need to know

July 20, 2017
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‘The federal solar rebate is falling!’ is a cry that Solar Choice has been hearing pretty loudly from our customers, website visitors and installers in and outside our network for the past few days. From a customer’s perspective, what do you need to know about what’s happening with this government solar incentive? Understanding the federal STC […]

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Solar system prices could rise up to 10% as STC prices drop

July 20, 2017
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(Please see Solar Choice’s in-depth coverage of the STC price drop in this article.) The cost of installing rooftop solar looks set to rise by as much as 10 per cent for households and small business this week, after a sudden drop in the price of small scale renewable energy certificates caught much of the […]

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Introducing our new Home Solar & Battery Storage Systems Guide

July 19, 2017
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Over the years Solar Choice has published thousands of articles on the topic of solar power and (more recently) battery storage. Much of this knowledge is spread across various parts of our website (mainly our blog), so we’re recently taken some time to consolidate all the most relevant materials in one place. The result is […]

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Big improvements to our Solar & Battery Sizing & Payback Estimator tool

July 13, 2017
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It’s been well over a year since we first released our Solar & Battery Sizing & Payback Estimator tool in February 2016. Through its life so far, this handy tool has been visited by over 50,000 people trying to determine whether solar battery storage is worth the the money. As a first effort, this tool was […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – July 2017

July 12, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices for July remain mostly unchanged since June’s big shakeup, hovering at $1.34/W. 5kW solar systems continue to offer the best value for money, and Perth is still the city with the lowest average prices. Average solar PV system prices for July 2017 Prices in the table below include both the up-front […]

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NSW regulator boosts recommended solar feed-in rates in final report

July 4, 2017
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NSW pricing regulator IPART boosted its recommended range for solar feed-in tariffs in the state, suggesting between 11.9c/kWh and 15c/kWh for exports back into the grid in 2017-18. The recommendations are slightly higher than the draft range released in May of 11.6c/kWh to 14.6/kWh, but substantially higher than last year’s benchmark of 5.5c/kWh to 7.2 c/kWh, thanks to soaring […]

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Concept of ‘baseload’ energy quickly becoming a relic of the past

July 3, 2017
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A new US report argues that the concept of “baseload” energy generation is an artefact of an old fossil fuelled industry, and should not be confused with reliability. The Brattle Group report was commissioned by US-based NGO NDRC, as part of America’s own battle over the future of “baseload” in a rapidly changing energy market.As in Australia, […]

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Industry responses to the Finkel Review

June 22, 2017
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Earlier this month CSIRO Chief Scientist Alan Finkel debuted his panel’s report into reform of Australia’s electricity sector. Officially known as Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market but widely referred to as ‘the Finkel review’, the report has stirred emotions across the energy sector – with some saying it goes […]

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Electricity prices to increase in NSW, SA and QLD: Why and what can you do about it?

June 22, 2017
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As you’re likely to have read, there are significant electricity price rises coming into effect from 1 July if you live in New South Wales, Queensland or South Australia. Driven by a doubling of wholesale electricity prices, retailers are being forced to increase their prices to cover their costs of buying electricity in the wholesale electricity […]

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