From the category archives:

Solar and Renewable Energy Policy

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

June 27, 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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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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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 PostsIs […]

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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
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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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