Abbott war on rooftop solar to drive up cost to homes, businesses | RenewEconomy

Abbott war on rooftop solar to drive up cost to homes, businesses

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Attempt by Abbott government to stop Clean Energy Finance Corporation co-financing rooftop solar is likely to make rooftop solar a lot more more expensive for those homes and businesses who have yet to install the technology, and who cannot afford to buy the systems outright.

Hang on, that's not a coal mine.
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The attempt by the Abbott government to stop the Clean Energy Finance Corporation from providing finance for rooftop solar is likely to make it more expensive for those people who have yet to install the technology, and who cannot afford to buy the systems outright.

The Abbott government has directed the CEFC to stop funding rooftop solar – as well as wind turbines – in a controversial move to limit the options available to the green bank, which it wants to shut down.

The Coalition has justified this by arguing that rooftop solar and wind energy technology is “mature”, and that rooftop solar is already on the roofs of 1.4 million homes, with more than 4.3GW of capacity installed on households and businesses. It does not need any more help, it argues.

But the CEFC says that while the technology may be “mature”, the financing of the uptake of that technology is not mature. And the overwhelming majority of households and businesses have not yet installed rooftop solar, and most of these may not have done so because they can’t afford the upfront payments.

That makes the cost of finance critical. And it is that cost that the CEFC has been trying to reduce.

Simon Brooker, the executive director of corporate and project finance at the CEFC, told an event hosted by the NSW government on Wednesday that financing could have a major impact on costs for new solar customers.

“The technology might be mature, but the financing is not,” Brooker said. “We are not quite sure yet which forms of finance will resonate most with customers. Our obligation is to try to develop those models.”

The CEFC has allocated up to around $270 million for small-scale solar, partnering with banks such as NAB, Commonwealth Bank, financiers such as FirstMac, solar companies such as SunEdison and Tindo Solar and utilities such as Origin Energy to try different financing approaches.

Brooker said many customers – households or businesses – don’t have available funds, want to manage cash flows, or use their capital elsewhere. That made options such as power purchase agreements, loans and other financing potentially attractive.

But because the technology did not have years of performance data, banks were reluctant to offer long-term loans, and their interest rates were higher than they might be.

He produced this graph below to show the dramatic difference in the cost to consumers from various effective interest rates and length of loan profile. New financing models, like those supported by the CEFC, can bring down the cost of finance and extend the length of those loans. A high cost and short-term finance could result in a cost per kilowatt-hour five times more than a lower cost, longer-term finance.

cefc solar costs

Mark Twidell, the head of the Australian offshoot of global solar inverter giant SMA, said it was clear that the CEFC could help lower household electricity prices and provide a return to the taxpayer.

“It’s not rocket science,” Twidell said. “We all know that banks are cautious, lending money to their customers for something new that they are worried might not work for long, it is something they call risk.

“Risk means higher interest rates for loans that need to be paid back in a shorter period of time. Think speed boats, and cars and the like … this is how solar PV has been seen by banks. The result is the top right corner of the chart with solar electricity costs over 40c/kWh.”

Twidell noted that if banks see something working and can be confident in managing risks they will change their ways and lend money for longer periods and lower interest rates.

“The CEFC also know that solar PV, unlike a car or speed boat, has no moving parts, comes with a 20 year warranty and is therefore going to have a risk profile more like a house.  The result is moving towards the bottom left of the chart where solar electricity costs less than 10c/kWh.

“So by doing nothing other than prove a PV system is more like a part of a house than a car in the driveway, the CEFC lower the cost of electricity for householders accessing a loan or finance product they have helped create.

“Of course the consumer can buy the PV system directly, but we all know that without banks lending money there is a limit to what consumers and small business will buy.”

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  1. Ken Dyer 5 years ago

    Meanwhile, Abbott has opened another offensive against Labor who have a discussion paper that canvasses a carbon abatement scheme, dubbed by Abbott as a “triple whammy” carbon tax.

    Three years on, Abbott still does not realise that the game has changed. Electricity from wind and solar is now cheaper than coal, and to persist with trying to kill solar and wind is to force electricity customers to pay a premium for coal powered electricity. His latest war on rooftop solar will also fail, as anyone with half a brain and a calculator will be able to work out.

    We are still waiting for anybody to actually own up to have actually achieved savings of $550 from the death of the “carbon tax” that Abbott and Hunt killed off a year or so ago, too.

    • Neil Frost 5 years ago

      I feel the carbon tax was wrong as it seemed to be applied across the board to hydro, solar and wind power on your bill. If you were purchasing green power. But that is a different argument.
      Abbot won’t last long, surly voters can see what he is doing.

      • Elisabeth Meehan 5 years ago

        It “seemed” to be applied across the board? Well no, it wasn’t.

        Surly voters can’t see what Abbott’s doing – they vote Liberal 🙂

        Intelligent votes can certainly see through Abbott, and wise investors from all countries are getting out of fossil fuels, and into renewables.

        • RobS 5 years ago

          Elisabeth, due to power being priced in a national market it really did apply across the board, here in Tasmania our power prices jumped by the full ten percent despite being 85-90% hydro powered and 10+% wind powered

          • Chris Fraser 5 years ago

            In the same period i bought old Tas hydro energy, and paid no carbon tax. The invoices had the price on carbon subtracted from them. NSW tariffs were still impacted by network investment, though.

  2. juxx0r 5 years ago

    This isn’t about proving that a fixed asset with a life of 25 years is like a fixed asset with a mortgage of 25 years. The banks know that Solar puts money in your back pocket which you can then use to pay your mortgage off quicker. That’s their objection.

  3. disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

    Rooftop solar is really only good as a PR exercise to make the population aware of solar energy, other than that ‘on grid solar’, looked at collectively, presently delivering 2.4% of Australia’s annual electricity, is a massive engineering folly, proof of the failure of neoliberal policy to attend to social policy, such as the environment.
    What is needed is large scale attention to the problem, not the kind the Libs would have us believe with their ” fund large scale and emerging technologies- translation fund Sequestration and Direct Injection Coal Engines (DICE) for existing coal power stations.
    What is needed is more Large Scale Wind and Concentrated Solar with Storage.

    • RobS 5 years ago

      You keep telling yourself that, whilst I’ll keep producing 80% of my power needs from the panels covering ~1/3 of my available roof space which save me ~$900 a year and cost $4,500 outright and will conservatively last 20 years. Australians installed 816Mw of rooftop solar in 2014, that’s 50% the size of our largest coal fired power station and the rate is increasing. I have no doubt large scale solar will have a part to play but dismissing rooftop solar is foolish.

      • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

        The proof is in the pudding, rooftop solar contributes measly 2.4%.
        What you care about is what it has financially saved YOU, not what the same money invested in large scale renewables could have done to save an order of magnitude more, of CO2.

        • RobS 5 years ago

          Large scale solar generated 0.06% of our total power generation in 2014, how would you describe that if 2.4% is “measly”? pitiful perhaps? or barely measurable? any other suggestions?

          $290 million for 102 MW makes it $2,800 per killowatt by my maths whilst my 4kw system cost me $4,500 out of pocket with a $2,500 RET rebate which makes it $7,000 for 4kw or $1,750 per killowatt before any subsidies. Strangely large scale projects often cost more as they have to buy or lease large areas of land, and build mounting structures, the space on my roof is free and ready to have panels bolted to. Any other strawmen for me to tackle?

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            Wasteful sounds about right
            You’ve introduced large scale PV when I never mentioned PV at all.
            Refer to the NEM Watch below and maybe then talk about renewable output bang for buck.

          • RobS 5 years ago

            The 0.06% is large scale solar PV and concentrated solar with thermal storage combined, it’s just absurd to dismiss rooftop solar for only producing 2.4% but extol a technology that even combined with other technologies produces only 0.06%. As for Concentrated solar with storage, recent projects from the last 4 years have ranged in price from $4,600 to $9,100 USD per killowatt capital costs according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Once again I have no doubt costs will come down and it will have a role to play but dismissing rooftop solar on the basis of cost and current capacity when your preferred technology is currently 3-4 times the cost of rooftop solar with a capacity about 50 times smaller is nothing but blinkered ideology. The reality is the only renewable energy source which beats rooftop PV on cost is inshore wind.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            That’s exactly what I was referring to when I said look at the NEM Watch below.
            I wouldn’t particularly knock standard PV, it’s just that 4GW of mostly non optimized, non maintained and to varying standards, feeding into the grid adhoc, on an engineering level is a fail, but that’s what you get with neoliberalism, when it’s mainly about ME feeding my excess into a common system US and doing this all on the auspices of saving the environment.
            Like I said money could have funded a lot more, engineered, optimized, maintained, large scale, with subsequent increases in scale of economy, for the same cost

          • RobS 5 years ago

            Maybe you’re not understanding what I’m saying but other than onshore wind the economics for every other large scale technology is worse than it is for rooftop PV. Money is better spent in terms of KW installed per dollar spent when spent on rooftop PV than on any technology other than onshore wind.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            I hear you, your talking about rooftop PV being economic, I’m saying for the money spent on that 4GW, nationally and on an engineering level, we paid for a lemon.
            If that money had been spent on large scale, with scale of economies, for whatever renewable was best fit, we’d be a lot further ahead.

          • RobS 5 years ago

            I’ve linked the sources that show that large scale solutions cost more, other than onshore wind, than rooftop solar does. I can lead a horse to water but I cant convince you if you refuse to be convinced.

          • Neil Frost 5 years ago

            Don’t forget to count the hidden kWh that is consumed by the house the PV is mounted on. Most forget to count the hidden value and only count what is put in the grid as a gift at 6.2 cents and sold to the neighbourhood for a massive profit to the utilities.

          • Neil Frost 5 years ago

            Ps: I wish someone would sell me something at 6 cents that I was able to sell immediately at over 30 cents. Then multiple that by a few million a day. And then I will charge the supplyers an extra dollar a day each for the privilege

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            Hopefully batteries will come to your rescue Neil.
            Maximize your self consumption.

          • BarleySinger 5 years ago

            it works right now. A hybrid 10KW PB with 10KW lithium ion battery setup costs $240,000 and if you need that much power you will pay it off (in saving) in 4 years or less (that is with interest on a loan).

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            Yes i think it fits well with neoliberal arrangement and it’s adhoc nature, the market has created an economic mess as well, FIT 50 cents and others next to nothing.
            As a contractor I’ve fitted hundreds of rooftop PV systems from 1.5kW to 30kW in all sorts of aspects, supplied with all different standards of equipment, with next to or no ongoing maintenance.
            Because my name is on the COC after most of these companies have gone, I get calls for a range of issues, there’s been a lot with blown fuses that mean a half or a third of the system is inoperable, the only reason that client called me is that they were aware of it by their bill, I could tell you most wouldn’t be.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            Rob I mentioned WIND as the first large scale renewable.
            I’m saying if wind is the main solution use it and I’m also saying adhoc rooftop PV is a neoliberal mess.

          • RobS 5 years ago

            you also mentioned concentrating solar with thermal storage which no one has built for less than three times the current cost for rooftop PV

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            No i said concentrated solar with storage and with the scale of the economies thrown at it, as rooftop PV has, im sure it would compete with standard PV.
            I’m not fixated with solar and you’ve not questioned anything else I’ve said except the capital cost, so do you agree that overall, on grid rooftop PV, in Australia, is a messy option for the overall outlook.

          • RobS 5 years ago

            No, I think rooftop solar produces power at the point of use reduces line losses and negates the need for substantial grid upgrades particularly on hot summer afternoons where the peak used to occur but is now disappearing. I also believe that the process of installing and owning panels increases ones awareness of their own energy consumption as people play a game of trying to stretch their generation to cover as much consumption as possible. I believe it democratises energy and educates and empowers the population to be more aware of their energy use and supply. I think large centralised renewables plus storage will then be well placed to fill the gaps where distributed generation and storage still has a shortfall.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            You’re talking a few percent line losses with HV transforming and transmission, with LSG or what would be the point, what are your inverter and feeding in losses.
            You know your grid upgrading is strawman, don’t you, any layman would know the worse case solar senario is the hottest day airconditoning at sundown, no amount of solar is going to help that without battery storage, throughout.
            PV does increase some people’s awareness on a few levels, but I can tell you from experience, youre in the minority when it comes to sound energy management.

          • Mike Shurtleff 5 years ago

            Very low-cost storage is now beginning to appear on the market. Your grid is too wide spread and expensive in OZ. Your solar resources are too good. Why would most suburban or rural aussies want to be on the grid? It will be better and better for many in OZ to be off-grid going forward. Rooftop Solar PV is point of use. That means it can be cheaper and more reliable.

            Read what RobS wrote on his Solar PV cost verses savings and think on it. Consider very low-cost storage and a small propane, or other, generator. This will mean 24/7 on-site Solar PV electricity for significantly less than end-of-grid electricity in OZ now. You’re crazy. Australia is going to have an awful lot of off-grid solar pv + storage in the future. It will be about as complex to buy, install, and maintain as a refrigerator.

            It continues to amaze me how blind some grid technicians can be. 30c/kWh for end-of-grid electricity …or 10c/kWh for off-grid Solar PV + Storage (in the near future) …not really a very difficult choice. The difference may not be that great yet, but it’s coming.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            Most on this thread are loosing sight of the bigger picture and looking at the domestic situation and not the global perspective of pollution reduction.
            I think it’s easy to fixate on solar as the solution to the crisis, when it’s the only renewable you actually relate to, as it’s your own.
            We all know the high levels of insolence we get in most places here, but PV is only giving a capacity factor of around 17%
            Wind generation, presently has around twice that, this is why the present COALition government dont like them, as with SA, wind is closing coal down.

            Emerging battery technology and the breakthrough prices we will see here soon could be a game changer in domestic and commercial applications, though you could be looking at a 5 or 6kW system with 10-15kWh hours of lithium storage for a househokd and with existing systems you’ll need to replace the solar inverter or dc couple an inverter/charger to go off grid, not a cheap exercise, until it’s widely available option.
            We’re going to see some ‘rent a roofs’ happening as the big players will be installing these systems with a kick back to the householder.

          • Mike Shurtleff 5 years ago

            Don’t think I’m fixated on Solar. My constant phrase is Wind, Solar PV, and Storage. Add in EVs and you have the most effective solution to the pollution problem and the most economical solution to energy production going forward.

            Wind is great and capacity factor of new wind turbines is as high as 50% in some areas in Australia. The problem is the Australian utilities and federal government, i.e. Abbott and cronies. Wind needs the grid. Solar PV + Storage does not. This is a route to civil disobedience in a peaceful revolution. You cannot reason with moneyed interests stacking the game against you. Solar PV + Storage can be used to stack the game against them. Break the financial backs the utilities and coal power generators. Only then will they come to the table to talk.

            The grid in Australia is spread too far over too small a population. You have tremendous Solar Resources. 17% CF? So?! Many homes there can generate more power than they need during most days. Re-read RobS comments. What if he puts Solar PV on the other 2/3 of his roof? What if he build a carport with it? What if his community builds a small solar farm? The power is already there on site, you just have to harness it and the low-cost battery technology to store it overnight, the other 83% of the time, is now coming. The best long term solution for many homes and small communities in Australia is to go off-grid. That is going to happen as a result of market forces, lowest cost solutions. Some will have wind and solar, some will just have solar, and some will still need the grid. Globally, that is what the future looks like.

            Three Advantages to Solar PV:
            1. Best Availability – It is available every day, to some degree, in many more places than Wind …particularly in Australia.
            2. Best Economic Margin – It is available at the point of use where the cost of electricity (at the end-of-grid) is highest.
            3. Best Production Advantage – Solar PV panels are produced in high volume production facilities. They are basically commodity products.

            I think our difference of opinion is you are over focused on a requirement for the grid. That’s a paradigm biased view imo. I don’t think the grid is needed in many cases now. Again, this also presents the ability to break the exploiting monopoly grip of moneyed interests in Australia. That is very important right now. Your government + utility oligarchy knows this and so you have Abbott tactics. They will lose specifically because of Solar PV + Storage.

            Solar PV is the cell phone of the electric power industry and it’s here now.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            I still hear this same, ME vs the grid, but I think your right that renewables+ storage will inevitably force the hand of the gentailer/network stranglehold on the consumers and I would hope it would force their hand into discounting for low MD and usage and look forward to it too.

            The grid will be continued to be needed at its present level and more, as E’V’s become widely affordable, the only way to charge a car sized EV practically, at home, is by being grid connected and charging at home, after hours, unless the most popular EV’S use charging stations, battery swaps, or flow cells, recharging the 50kWh+ needed to charge up a mid sized car, you can see, isn’t going to happen from any average off grid system,.

          • BarleySinger 5 years ago

            You have very good points. These days (current prices) uif yuo can afford your mortgage and do not have a tiny home, you can afford to but a hybrid solar PV system with battery on it (grid connected). If you need a loan and your bank sucks, go to a mortgage broker.

            I think the more immediate (and evolving) future is scaring the shit out of big energy because only cities and industry are unable to completely power themselves (high population density to roof availability).

            I expect that the grid is going to evolve because it MUST for the power companies to survive. I *suspect* a combination of “off grid”, but mostly hybrid grid connected systems with battery backup. In many cases people will have mini grids in local areas – which will connect to the larger grid because cities suck up a lot of power (as do businesses in general) and city building shadow one another too much.

            Apple Computer has gone *big* into solar investments, to power their buildings. However this has meant they must own extra land around the buildings for their PV systems (computers take a lot of power – especially server rooms with massive air conditioning).

          • Mike Shurtleff 5 years ago

            Thank you sir.
            I agree, the grid will be forced to evolve and the result will be a mix of solutions, much as you describe. regards, mike

          • BarleySinger 5 years ago

            you did take science? 20% of the POWER sent through a large AC grid is is lost in the wires as resistance.

          • BarleySinger 5 years ago

            Seem to me he has shown you are wrong. It is easy info to find. Rooftop PV is NOT a bad price. OIN fact the effectiveness of that tech in Australia is SO good it is a big threat to traditional utilities.

            There are now power utilities in this nation made of NOTHING but rooftop solar. The home owner pays NOTHING for their power ever and all maintenance is free. The COMPANY gets to sell all excess power at a very high profit. They get access to your roof and put as much on it as they can…. and they are making TODS of money at it.

            The trouble with solar form a NORMAL utility standpoint it that it competes far too well. As a result some Aussie utilities are BANNING “grid connect” solar it from their grids. This is having the effect of dragging everyone who can afford it at all (and with a load anyone who can afford a house can do it) to buy stand PV systems instead, and save even more cash.

            Those utilities are killing themselves.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            All renewable are a threat to the established, that’s why the COALition, managers for coal dislike them, especially wind, the reason they hate wind so much is its a giant symbol of green socialism to them and a threat to their fascist bosses.

            The capital cost/MWh for wind is presently a lot cheaper than PV and is providing twice as much annual output as PV, as shown already.

            At 2.4% of annual generation, how has rooftop PV done much for pollution mitigatiin, since it’s inception, a long while ago now?

            I can totally understand the dislike of parasitic gentailers and parasitic network operators, as they own many of the wind farms in operation, to both play both sides of the profiteering game, but if wind farms are one of the most rapid way to decabonisation, on a global pollution level, I can’t see a problem as higher bills also lead to the double edged sword of energy management.

          • BarleySinger 5 years ago

            you can lead a horse to water… but you can;t et it to admit the water is there if is refuses to LOOK at the water


          • Island fisher 5 years ago

            Most of the problem with the ad hoc approach of feeding into the grid has been the absolute reluctance of each and every one of the distribution companies spending billions on gold plating the grid and not spending OUR money on an proper engineering solution for distributed energy systems.
            Even now they are fighting tooth and nail to keep their cosy billion dollar profits for doing nothing to engineer a grid that is capable of handling solar and other distributed energy systems

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            I’ve worked on the HV network upgrading in SA and I’ll go as far to say it was well overdue and never saw anything that wasnt necessary.
            As mentioned below, small scale PV isn’t going to affect network maximum demand, because the network has to cope with the hottest day at sundown.
            Without the advent of localized storage and 24/7 embedded generation, cogens and trigens, the networks must cope with the peaks they get hit with.
            The future use will see electric vehicles which are energy intensive.

          • BarleySinger 5 years ago

            SA already DOES cope in this fashion. Rofftop PV provides more power to the grid (on the hottest days of summer) than we use. Two of our big dirty coal plants are no longer used at all. Then again, SA has a very high level of PV installation.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            Collectively, obviously PV at its present level in SA cannot anywhere near power the state, you must be confused with SA’s wind output, which can and even provides excess, at times.
            Your also confused about PV providing a high output on the hottest days, heat negatively affects PV, to see drops in output of 20% on the hottest days is the norm.
            Its a common misconception that PV works good in the heat when the opposite is true.

          • BarleySinger 5 years ago

            Of course they are. They are run by greedy bastards high in psychopathic traits. What do you expect. Instead of figureing out how to profit EVEN MORE from the new world of energy, they insist on dragging their heels.

            Incidentally as a person who grew up in the USA, I can tell you the Aussie grid is crap for “power quality”. You are supposed to have power that approximates a nice sin wave. Ours in SA looks like 100% crap noise. It would be illegal to sell it in North America. That kids of crap kills electrical appliances (computers etc) far faster than that nice nice sin wave does.

            One advantage of going solar here is you no longer have “crap power” killing the integrated circuits in the computer chips in you TC, PC, tablet, etc. IN Australia We are just lucky that switching power supplies are tolerant beasts.

            We cannot even do internet via the power system as they can in many parts of the EU. Web through the grid requires a grid that is MAINTAINED and our isn’t (not really). IN system of that sort the web connection goes through the power grid, through all the wires. You have a router attached to your main box at up to 30Gbit per sec. THAT is why we need a clean energy grid… to get decent web speeds.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            Have you got any links or figures for your power quality statement, as there are standards that must be met here in Australia, as elsewhere, both in terms of supply and connected equipment that could case noise.
            So a quasi pure sinewave generated by a solar inverter/charger setup is better than the mains quality and how is your ‘off grid’ going to provide an internet over power system?
            The grid isn’t going away, it’s going to be needed even more in the future.

          • Bruce 5 years ago

            I am sure you are both right on some of the argument, rooftop solar’s contribution and large scale Solars positives ,however big daddy in terms of costs has been conveniently forgotten.
            The network cost is over 50 % of your bill. Generation costs are simply not as big a cost factor. The power generation model has changed from centralised to de centralised. Batteries mean game over for many applications.

          • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

            Networks costs have increased mainly with their privatisation.
            But In SA, where i am, the retail portion of the bill is still much higher than the network cost. So here, the cost of energy here is mainly due to parasitic gentailers.

            First thing domestic PV is doing hardly anything to mitigate harm from the use of fossil fuels, all its doing is keeping some people happy and raising awareness.

            I live in SA where the retail portion of the bill is much higher than the network cost and if you look at the historical trend, the gentailers have been increasing this gap here.

            With batteries we have to consider that the system must be ‘off grid’ or, the network pricing rules would have to be changed to reflect the effect of grid connected battery hybrid systems that could seriously reduce the installations Maximum Demand and modify the TOU.

          • BarleySinger 5 years ago

            there are hybrid solar systems right now in SA which are completely legal. These charge your battery back, and they isolate your power system power system from teh drig during outages (islanding). This way you ARE grid connected, but no power leaves your system into the grid when the dirg is down (keeping workers on the lines safe). Check out the SolaX inverters.

          • BarleySinger 5 years ago

            Rooftop solar has one issue in Australia, which is that we get CRAP payments back from the utilities. Now that the feed-in system is gone, people get paid a lot less than what they are charged (6 cents income paid to the home owner from AGL, for power they charge you 20 to 36 cents for). This means (being kind) that that at 1PM you are making 6 cents a KWH, and after sunset you have to PAY them about 28 cents to get your power BACK.

            And then batteries enter the picture.

            In Australia it is STRONGLY advised that people buy battery banks. This is because we get crap payments from our utilities. The utilities SHOULD be forced to pay the average wholesale rate to home owners. That should be federal law.

            Because this is NOT the case, It is far more financially sound to KEEP your energy in batteries. Without any batteries you sell your excess power in the day (at 6 cents KWH) and then BUY some back at night… at a higher rate (in SA about 28 cents KWH minimum).

            With hybrid inverters and battery banks you are isolated from the grid during outages. This means when the grid is down, your solar panels do not turn off. YOU have power when the power grid is down.

            ** WHAT DOES IT COST **

            Incidentally a 10Kw PV system with a 10KW lithium Ion Battery bank, SolaX hybrid inverters (a system WITH connection to the grid) costs $24,000.

            If you really DO need that much power (god knows why) then your bill is about, say $1600 to 1800 a quarter. At 6 percent interest (for instance) if you take $1600 our of the cost (with interest) of you system, it takes about 4 years pay the thing off on (in power savings) with 20 years of no real power bills at all… although in a decade you will need to buy batteries, at a much lower price, for better ones.

    • Miles Harding 5 years ago

      Perhaps we are all correct, but simply feeling a different part of the elephant

      What are saying is that renewables (solar) can make a big difference at an individual level, but that almost most all of our energy needs are still dependent on fossil fuels.

      I see energy as only one of the challenges society faces. There is also the issue of unsustainable use of metals, minerals and nutrients, which is as much a problem as our energy system and it’s effects of the environment that sustains us.

      Overall, it is clear that the future will be like a foreign land — they do things differently there.

  4. Chris Fraser 5 years ago

    I wonder how can wind and solar be mature. The mature coal mining industry has needed intensive government support for the last 200 years. Maybe it all depends on the ideological frame you look through.

  5. James Moylan 5 years ago

    Why not become a part of the solution? Join the Renewable Energy Party.

    • Little Bo Peep 5 years ago

      Tim Flannery is a left-wing loonie toon.

  6. Miles Harding 5 years ago

    The LNP policies could be generally described as “battler bashing”, making the small scale solar nobbling of the CEFC simply an extension of the other policies.

    It seems to me that the CEFC has an obligation to make solar available to those who can most benefit from it. I would like to see this sort of offer coupled to energy efficiency advice and assistance to allow those consumers best improve their lives.

  7. Little Bo Peep 5 years ago

    Listen to all the left wing socialists whinge…

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