The long-awaited result is finally in: IPART has made its recommendation as to how the NSW government should replace the state’s now defunct Solar Bonus Feed-in Tariff Scheme. Under IPART‘s recommendations, NSW residents interested in installing solar PV systems will not be eligible for a standard, state-wide Solar Feed-in Tariff. Instead, the government, as foreshadowed in IPART’s draft report report last August, has revealed an education campaign and a website to keep electricity customers fully informed about their options for electricity and the new ‘subsidy-free’ Solar Feed-in Tariff rates on offer from the electricity retailers throughout the state. The non-mandatory Solar Feed-in Tariff rates will be between 5.2c/KWH – 10.3c/kWh for 2011/2012, depending on the retailer.
Chinese government ups solar PV production targets
The Chinese government released a report detailing its ambitious near-term targets for solar PV manufacturing over the course of the nation’s 12th 5-year plan, which began in 2011. The plan calls for 50,000 tons of annual polysilicon production and 5 gigawatts of solar PV cell production capacity by 2015, as well as a number of other goals related to solar efficiency and price.
The first installation using Australia’s own Tindo Karra solar panels has been installed in Adelaide. The 1.44KW system is composed of six 240W panels. As each module contains its own micro-inverter, the ground-mounted solar system is unconventional in that it contains no central inverter.
Tokelau to become world’s first (mostly) solar-powered nation
Polynesian microstate Tokelau is in the process of installing a solar PV system large enough to source 90% of its energy needs from the sun. The balance of the nation’s energy will come from locally grown coconut oil, making the tiny archipelago the world’s first to source 100% of its power needs from renewable energy.
The University of Wollongong has installed a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system on the roof of its McKinnon Pavillion. The installation is part of the University’s ‘McKinnon Precinct Landscape Masterplan’, which also includes rain-gardens and a 500,000L in-ground rainwater tank.
Suntech Solar’s Pluto cells reach 20.3% efficiency in lab conditions
The world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels, Suntech Solar, has achieved a new level of efficiency in one of its products. Its proprietary Pluto technology was demonstrated to hit an efficiency of 20.3% (sunlight to usable electricity) in laboratory conditions using its standard commercial-grade polycrystalline silicon solar PV cells. The company expects to reach an efficiency of 21% within the next year, and is planning on commercialising the technology.
Three companies have come together to form an organisation to promote the acceptance, adoption, and implementation of concentrating solar power (CSP) in the USA. The new industry peak body is known as the Concentrating Solar Power Alliance (CSPA), and is composed of the CSP project development firms Abergoa, Brightsource Energy, and Torresol Energy.
Single-phase vs 3-phase electricity transmission and distributed solar PV generation
Depending on where you live, your home may be fed by single-phase or 3-phase electrical transmission wires. This short article explains the relevance of these types of transmission to owners of solar PV systems.
The benefits of going solar in Canberra, Darwin, and Hobart
3 articles detailing the benefits of installing a solar PV system for residents of Canberra, Darwin, and Hobart, including sunshine hours, Federal Government Solar Credits, and applicable solar Feed-in Tariffs.
All Australians with eligible grid-connected solar systems may receive upfront rebates in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates. (Keep in mind that the Federal Solar Credits rebate will be reduced for systems installed after 1 July 2012.) Additionally, many state governments also offer Solar Feed-in incentive schemes. In the ACT, the NT, and Tasmania, homes and businesses who have solar systems are eligible for 1-for-1 Solar Buyback schemes through their respective electricity retailers
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