Coalition details strategy to boost solar at expense of wind | RenewEconomy

Coalition details strategy to boost solar at expense of wind

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Coalition to push solar via CEFC, loans and grants for community solar and storage projects, and ensure “Tony’s Tradies” know about instant write-off for solar.

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The Coalition government led by Tony Abbott has detailed its plans to boost investment in large scale solar installations, as it seeks to reduce the number of wind farms that Abbott and other senior Coalition members find ugly and offensive.

Tindo Solar installation in SA

In a final letter to cross-bench Senators tabled late yesterday before the revised renewable energy target legislation was passed in the Upper House, environment minister Greg Hunt outlines the range of measures he intends to take to accelerate the deployment of solar.

These include, as predicted a few weeks ago, directing the Clean Energy Finance Corp to return to its “original mandate” of focusing on emerging technologies. Solar is seen as “emerging” while wind is seen as “established.”

Hunt says the Coalition will also look to provide “potential further support” for a range of measures, including community solar and solar with storage projects via “start-up loans and grants” – possibly in much the same way as the NSW government is doing. It will also look to boost the deployment of off-grid solar.

The Coalition also says it will look to boost the uptake of solar in government housing, and promote the potential of the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small business to be used for investment in rooftop solar.

The Coalition also says it will take steps to ensure that the community, industry and the government are up to date on the lower costs of solar technologies and industry modelling (perhaps recommend a subscription to RenewEconomy’s daily newsletter – it’s free).

It will also promote and highlight the potential of solar and battery storage, and the efforts of R&D work, and the “niche” deployment provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency – which, like the CEFC, is another agency that the Coalition tried but failed to dismantle.

Asutralia currently has around 3,500MW of large scale wind, and about 140MW of large scale solar, mostly through the 103MW Nyngan solar plant that was recently completed. However, Australia also has around 4,200MW of small scale solar on the rooftops of homes and businesses.

Some analysts expect wind energy to account for most of the 5,500MW to be built between now and 2020 to meet the revised renewable energy target, although some suggest around 40 per cent could be met through large scale solar, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia, where market prices and demand are higher.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance overnight released a report that said over the medium term – by 2040 – Australia is likely to have 33,000MW of small-scale solar, 37,000MW of battery storage, about 15,000MW of large scale solar, and 13,500MW of large scale wind.


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  1. Neil_Copeland 5 years ago

    I hope that the solar installers are heavily targeting the eligible businesses in Adelaide CBD now that Adelaide City Council is offering rebates on solar systems, storage, replacement of Halogen lights for LED and EV charge stations. Combined with the asset write off, we could see a lot of solar installed.

  2. john 5 years ago

    Small business owners in Qld may make the investment to derive a return even when the cost structure is slanted toward a supply cost and minimum cost of actual power used?
    Charge per day 130.556 cents per day
    Charge per KwH 22.481 cents per KwH
    Those are GST exclusive prices.
    So ok a small business owner puts 10 Kw system on the roof cost $14.75K
    The business uses some 50% of the output.
    Expected output of a 10Kw system is 16000 KwH with good positioning.
    Usage @ 50% is 8000 KwH @ 22.481 = $1798 plus GST = $1977
    Export @ 5.3 cents for 8000 Kw = $423
    Total = $2400 against cost of $14750 return = 16%
    Using 25% of output figures become.
    4000 KwH @ 22.81 = $988
    Export 12000 KwH @ 5.3 cents = $636
    Total = $1624 against cost of $14750 return = 11%
    Looks like they should do this.
    Seems like the above figures are totally a waste of time as Ergon has decided to restrict the maximum size of a system to 3.5 Kw so pretty pointless really.
    A 3.5 Kw system with perfect positioning may put out 5600 Kwh
    Utilise about 2000 KwH return of $494
    export about 3600 KwH of some $190
    Return = $684 expend = $6000 return just over 11%
    Possibly less than 2000 KwH utilise so the figures will be less than 10% more like 7.5%

  3. Michael 5 years ago

    These include, as predicted a few weeks ago, directing the Clean Energy Council to return to its “original mandate”

    ^ probs should be the CEFC, not CEC?

    • Giles 5 years ago

      Yes, CEFC.

  4. Alen T 5 years ago

    I wonder if now there’s a regret in not seeking to include items like solar cells/panels in the FTA with China?

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