Electricity market reform comes to the forefront of Australia’s clean energy debate
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has brought electricity market reform to the forefront of the clean energy debate, publicly calling on state governments to rein in rampant electricity prices. The crux of the issue is this: because generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity are conducted through state-owned entities, electricity is a revenue-earner for many state governments, they are therefore reluctant to implement changes. This has been the primary driver in the dramatically escalating electricity prices that have been seen across the country in the past few years. In spite of this, the Carbon Tax and other ‘green schemes’, which play only a relatively small role in the price increases, have been copping the bulk of the blame in the media and from the Opposition.
NSW Feed-in Tariff rates ‘temporarily’ removed from MyEnergyOffers website
Solar Feed-in Tariff rates have been removed from MyEnergyOffers, the website associated with NSW’s Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), which sets retail electricity prices for the state. The MyEnergyOffers website is a free website that allows NSW residents to easily and instantly compare different retailers’ electricity rates by entering electricity usage data. A call to IPART revealed that there is no set deadline for the retailers to submit the Solar Feed-in Tariff rates for display.
30-megawatt solar farm granted planning approval in Kerang, Central Victoria
A 30 megawatt (MW) solar farm has been granted planning permission in the town of Kerang, along the NSW-Victoria border.
At 30MW, the proposed solar farm would be the largest of its kind in Australia–3 times as large as Western Australia’s 10MW Greenough River Solar Farm, which will soon be operational–and one of the first utility-scale solar PV plants in the country. It would also be the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant connected to the national electricity grid, which services Australia’s more populous eastern seaboard.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency to possibly fund Solar Flagships runners-upThe Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) may provide funding for projects that didn’t make the cut for the Federal Government’s Solar Flagships program, according to a draft of the Agency’s first 3-year funding strategy, which goes to 2015. The pool of Solar Flagship ‘runners-up’ consists of about 52 projects who have already been to some degree vetted by the federal government during the application process.Read more >>>
Suntech CEO steps down to focus on operations
Suntech founder Dr Zhengrong Shi has stepped down from his role as CEO of the company. Dr Shi will remain involved in the company as executive chairman and chief strategy officer, indicating a shifting focus towards operations. Chief financial officer David King will take the helm of the company in his place.
Large-scale commercial solar power and utility-scale solar power are the two big frontiers in solar PV for Australia. Utility-scale solar power has the potential to dramatically transform Australia’s power generation portfolio, taking advantage of the country’s most abundant and renewable energy resource–the sun. However, utility-scale solar power has to make sense as an investment before it sees broad-scale deployment across the country. Thanks to government incentives, combined with the falling price of solar PV technology, the time has never been riper for utility-scale solar in Australia.
Bosch is a 125-year-old German engineering company with a globally recognised name. Known mainly for its automobile parts and power tools, Bosch has also been involved in the solar PV industry since 2008 as Bosch Solar Energy, bringing its reputation for excellence to bear in the production of high-end solar panels.
Solmetric’s Suneye 210: A tool for estimating solar PV system performance on-site
Solmetric’s Suneye 210 is a comprehensive site evaluation tool for solar PV system design and installation. The Suneye 210 allows installers and designers to accurately predict a solar PV system’s performance, and to preemptively identify potential future shading issues as nearby trees grow or new buildings are constructed.
SolarBridge Technologies is a US-based company whose mission is to facilitate uptake of rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) by reducing its complexity and improving its cost-efficiency, developing and manufacturing reliable, high-quality AC solar panels.
20kW solar systems and solar farms: Pricing, output, and returns
A 20kW solar power system is potentially a worthwhile investment for small to medium businesses across Australia, thanks to the falling price of solar PV, and rising electricity prices. This article looks at the price ranges, power yields (in kWh), and financial returns that a business may expect from a 20kW solar PV system.
Commercial solar power installations in South Australia
Commercial-scale solar systems and farming are becoming increasingly popular investment options in South Australia. Large-scale solar installations and solar farms in SA offer owners and operators either an additional, low-input income stream or a way to cut electricity bill costs.
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