Changes in network tariffs are killing rooftop solar as a cost-saving option for businesses, but may accelerate the push to combine solar and battery storage. The networks are being accused of using “cost reflective tariffs” as an excuse for another revenue grab.
US solar giant Sungevity has dumped plans to become dominant player in the Australian market and has exited the country, an apparent victim of Abbott’s war on renewables. RoofJuice, the new owner, says it will focus on ‘smart solar’ to deal with rule changes, and battery storage.
The inevitable and unstoppable shift to solar and storage is likely to see a big change in the way that tariffs are structured – hopefully for the better, rather than the worse – but it may just mean another level of complexity for consumers in what is already a thoroughly opaque market.
Coalition claims of cost of renewables are becoming more and more ridiculous. And so are the claims in the Murdoch Media, Even on Q&A, the ABC let Ron Boswell get away with – and even approved of – a litany of absurdities.
Ambition is not on the agenda for the Abbott government in its climate policies. Coalition describes Climate Change Authority’s recommendations as “staggering” as Abbott launches another extraordinary attack on wind energy, saying 23.5% renewables is “more than enough”.
The Australian Labor Party and Bill Shorten appear to have rediscovered their climate change mojo, rejecting Tony Abbott’s party of “flat Earthers”. But the Coalition, large vested interests and the Murdoch media have responded with a vicious scare campaign.
If Shorten’s ALP is to meet their 50% renewables target, they will have to rely heavily on investment in solar and storage by households and businesses. To make that happen, however, Shorten has to realise that the consumer is now king, not the energy incumbents.
Labor has picked a winner by adopting a long-term renewable energy target, and pushing rooftop solar and battery storage, finally distinguishing itself from the hard right Coalition government. A new poll suggests a clear majority want a renewable target of at least 50%, and many in regional areas want to go to 100% by 2030.
The wind and solar sectors in Australia need a public champion. Why not Alan Jones? His command of the facts on coal mines and CSG has made him a powerful force. If only he could get his facts right on renewable energy.
Renewable energy finance vehicles, YieldCos, likely to rapidly outpace their fossil fuel rivals, and represent more than $1 trillion of investment in coming years. Another sign of the global investment shift to wind and solar, a trend that could bypass Abbott’s Australia.
Ergon Energy seeks 200MW of large-scale solar to meet its RET obligation and boost its regional grid. The Queensland utility is also accelerating its push into battery storage, electric vehicles and a charging network.