From the category archives:

Solar and Renewable Energy Policy

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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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for June 2017

June 21, 2017
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Average pricing for commercial-scale solar systems has dropped to $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) from $1.23/W following some shakeups in the Solar Choice installer network (see notes in our Residential Solar PV Price Index for this month). Average 10kW system prices sit at $1.27/W, 30kW system prices at $1.19/W, 50kW system prices at $1.20/W and 100kW solar […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – June 2017

June 21, 2017
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This month saw one of the sharpest drops to average system prices since Solar Choice first began keeping track in August 2012. Between May and June, the average system price dropped 23c from $1.57 per watt ($1.57/W) to $1.34/W. This sudden decrease stands in sharp contrast to the very gradual changes that we’ve seen over […]

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Integrating solar with storage for a stable energy ecosystem

June 8, 2017
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To successfully incorporate solar PV, storage and other innovative technologies into Australia’s energy grids without sacrificing grid stability, a holistic, whole-of-network approach is required, says Mark Paterson, General Manager of Horizon Power’s Consumer Energy division. According to Mr Paterson, Horizon Power’s large, sparsely populated regional WA networks are ‘almost a microcosm of the larger electricity […]

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Solar & wind help SA ‘blow past’ renewables target ahead of schedule

June 8, 2017
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South Australia has not only met its legislated target of 50 per cent renewable energy eight years ahead of schedule, it is literally blowing past it, the Australian Energy Regulator has found. According to the AER’s state of the energy market report released last week, large scale wind power and rooftop solar PV have reached […]

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Why doesn’t my electricity retailer give me a 15c solar feed-in tariff?

June 7, 2017
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Why don’t retailers offer higher solar feed-in rates? Does it matter if feed-in tariff rates are low? What are some of the alternative approaches to conventional feed-in tariffs that are beginning to appear in the Australian market? These are important questions to ask when considering going solar in Australia these days. We take a look at […]

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What are the best cities for home solar battery storage?

June 6, 2017
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Having just published an article on the state of Australia’s battery storage market at the beginning of 2017, 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 explanation of […]

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Can you go solar with a south-facing roof in Australia?

June 5, 2017
South-facing roofs okay for solar?

Anyone who has looked into installing solar panels in Australia would have quickly learned that north is the best direction for solar panels. If north is not an option, northwest and northeast are generally the next best options, usually followed by due west and due east, depending on the circumstances. But what about south-facing roofs […]

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3kW solar PV systems: Pricing, output, and returns

June 5, 2017
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How much does a 3kW solar system cost in Australia, and how much energy can you expect it to produce? This article takes a look a these questions, as well as returns and payback periods for 3kW solar systems. (This article was originally published in 2012 – we’ve recently updated it to reflect how circumstances […]

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Melbourne solar panels: Compare system prices and installers

May 29, 2017
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Are solar panels still worth the investment in Melbourne? It would seem so: Tens of thousands of Victorian households have installed solar PV systems in the last few years alone, with 10-15% of homes in the Melbourne area now meeting at least part of their energy needs with the sun. This article takes a look at […]

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10kW solar power systems: Price, power output, and returns

May 16, 2017
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10kW solar systems are a great investment for Australian homes with high levels of electricity consumption or businesses with relatively small electricity needs. This article takes a look at 10kW solar system pricing, energy production and returns in Australia. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell a friend Related PostsMalcolm […]

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Avoiding the boom and bust for a sustainable energy storage market

May 15, 2017
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By studying the successes and challenges experienced by overseas projects and markets, and using them to inform better policy and decision-making, Australia’s energy market transformation could be the best-practice example that other countries seek to emulate, according to Mark Leslie, Asia Market Leader at AES Energy Storage. AES Energy Storage has been deploying utility-scale energy […]

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Queensland solar panels: Compare installers and system prices

May 12, 2017
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Solar panels remain a popular investment option in Queensland thanks to low solar PV system prices and ample sunshine.  Today, both homes and businesses alike consider going solar as a way to save on energy bills. Instantly compare solar & battery system prices 3 reasons to go solar in Queensland There are essentially 3 reasons for the current level […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – May 2017

May 11, 2017
Solar Choice logo

Average solar system installation prices for May 2017 hover at the same level as April‘s – $1.57 per watt ($1.57/W). 5kW solar systems continue to offer the best value for money at an average of $1.25/W – or about $7,100 installed. Average solar PV system prices for May 2017 Prices in the table below include both the […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for May 2017

May 11, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain unchanged for the second month in a row, coming in at $1.23/W, according to pricing from the Solar Choice commercial installer network database. Average 10kW system prices sit at $1.32/W, 30kW system prices at $1.21/W, 50kW system prices at $1.23/W and 100kW solar system prices at $1.15/W. Commercial solar […]

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NSW solar feed-in tariff to increase: Three things to keep in mind

May 4, 2017
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In a bit of good news for NSW solar PV system owners, state regulatory body IPART has released a draft report recommending that the benchmark solar feed-in tariff rate be increased to 11.6 – 14.6c per kWh (c/kWh). This is significant increase over current rates of roughly 6-8c/kWh, and is sure to greatly brighten the […]

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Solar Power in NSW: What are the benefits?

May 1, 2017
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Solar power is still a great investment in NSW even in the absence a feed-in tariff incentive in the state. The fact that solar PV system prices have been declining combined with the fact that retail electricity rates have risen significantly in recent years means that solar panels can now serve as a cost-effective, rooftop […]

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Sizing residential solar & battery systems: A quick guide

April 26, 2017
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What size solar panel array do you need for your home? And if you’re considering battery storage, what size battery bank would be most appropriate? This article includes tables that provide an at-a-glance guide, as well as links to more comprehensive calculators. Solar system sizing table (no batteries) If you’re considering solar panels for your […]

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Find the best solar power deals in Perth, WA

April 19, 2017
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Perth, WA is one of the best places in the country to install a solar power system. Like most of Australia, in Perth retail electricity rates are rising, and solar installation prices have fallen significantly over the past few years, thanks in part to the financial subsidies available through the federal government. How much does a […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for April 2017

April 11, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices increased slightly between March and April, according to data from the Solar Choice installer network. The rise – up to $1.23/W from $1.21/W – follows several months of steady decreases. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target […]

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Solar power in Sydney, NSW: Compare prices & installers

April 11, 2017
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Sydney is a great place for solar power, and roughly 10-15% of Sydney area homes have solar panels installed on their roofs. This article is 5-point guide to everything you need to know if you’re considering solar power for your Sydney home – including how Solar Choice can help you compare quotes. 5 good reasons to go solar […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – April 2017

April 10, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices for April 2017 have crept to a fresh low of $1.57 per watt ($1.57/W) – slightly lower than March‘s average of $1.58/W but in keeping with the (very) gradual decline that we’ve been witnessing since the beginning of 2017. Average prices for 3kW, 4kW and 5kW solar systems also hit […]

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How much can you really save with ‘selective export’ of solar & battery energy?

April 7, 2017
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Now that solar feed-in tariff rates are so low across the country, there’s little reason for a solar system owner to send their energy back into the grid, as they will almost always save more money by ‘self-consuming‘ their solar energy. This is one of the reasons that the popularity of battery storage systems has grown so […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for March 2017

March 31, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices continue to decrease for the third month in a row, this month hitting a new all-time low of $1.21 per watt. 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 […]

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Adelaide City’s solar & energy storage incentives

March 29, 2017
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Since 1 July 2015, the City of Adelaide has been offering some of the most generous incentives for solar power in Australia – and the one of the only incentives for battery storage in the country. What are the rebates available under Adelaide’s Sustainability Incentives Scheme? Please keep in mind that all of the incentives outlined below are […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – March 2017

March 22, 2017
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Average residential solar PV system prices in Australia crept down to $1.58 per watt ($1.58/W) from $1.60 in February, according to data from Solar Choice’s installer network database. Although so slight as to be inconsequential, the drop represents a new low, with $1.59/W (in Sept 2016 and Dec 2015) being the next lowest since we […]

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The ACT’s home battery storage incentive program

March 21, 2017
ACT NextGen battery storage

The ACT government’s Next Generation Energy Storage (NextGen) program is one of the most ambitious battery storage incentive schemes in Australia, aiming to subsidise the installation of batteries for roughly 5,000 homes and small businesses by 2020. How does the incentive work, and how will it benefit households in the Territory? How it works The […]

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Queensland government launches distributed energy trial to benefit most vulnerable customers

March 17, 2017
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Queensland’s Labor government has launched a distributed energy trial that aims to give the state’s most vulnerable electricity customers – as well as its half a million rental households – access to solar power. The three-pronged trial is part of the government’s plan to deliver up to 6MW of new solar PV on up to […]

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Malcolm Turnbull announces $2 billion on 2GW pumped hydro scheme

March 16, 2017
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Malcolm Turnbull has announced federal government plans to spend $2 billion on a 2GW pumped hydro scheme in New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains, in what could be the most significant intervention in Australia’s energy markets in half a century. The proposal – which is subject to a feasibility study and funding agreements from Snowy Hydro’s […]

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SA to spend $500 million on Australia’s largest battery storage and gas power plant

March 15, 2017
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South Australia has announced plans to install the nation’s biggest battery storage installation, as part of a state government response to the series of blackouts and what it says are the failures of the National Electricity Market. The $500 million scheme includes plans for a new battery storage installation of at least 100MW, a new […]

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