Solar energy

Safety and quality the simple ingredients for a renewable energy future

Consumers will only buy solar and storage products if they are confident they will be safe and do what they say on the label. To ensure consumers confidence in these products remains high we've established a solar PV retailer code of conduct.

Two charts show whether a Powerwall works for you

While there's lots of hype about Tesla's Powerwall, numbers are lacking. Its benefits depend highly on your particular circumstances and two charts help show what it might mean for you.

RETRACTED: Councils plan big renewable energy auction to bypass power retailers

A Melbourne City Council official has informed Climate Spectator that while Melbourne City Council has teamed-up with several other councils to procure renewable energy the amount they will seek will not ever approach 1200 megawatts in spite of this being the goal of the council for its own municipality.

The company that's growing food in the desert

Using seawater and solar energy in the outback, one innovative farm will soon be growing tomatoes for Coles supermarkets.

Rottnest Island adding solar to go almost half renewables

Energy management controls will align desalination plant power use with solar & wind output, avoiding need for batteries.

Going off-grid part 3 – it’s a waste of solar panels

Going off-grid may cost a lot of money but the biggest issue is that your solar system will go to waste. In my case, 80 per cent of solar generation would be surplus to my needs and dumped. Far better to use it to displace fossil fuel generators supplying my neighbours.

By 2020 batteries still don’t add up, but neither does an SUV

One of Australia's leading authorities on solar and batteries has found that even by 2020 the economics of battery systems won't add up unless you live in Adelaide or Alice Springs. But they aren't eye-wateringly bad either and that may be good enough for many consumers.

Coal and power demand recovery continues

The latest CEDEX index for power sector shows black coal continuing its recovery since the carbon price was repealed and renewables went into a review-induced investment freeze. In addition Queensland's power demand is spiking upwards while other states' demand remain flat.

IEA sees radical shifts in spite of its conservatism

The assumptions underpinning the International Energy Agency's projections of the growth of renewable energy and the countries' follow-through on emission reductions have been criticised as unrealistically pessimistic and out-of-date. Even so they still see a radical shift in the world's energy market.

Weaning myself off gas and then the power grid – Part 2

Following on from a look at what happens to your power consumption when you switch off the gas central heater, I’ll now look at what type of battery and solar system might get me through winter without the grid connection.

Batteries are no threat to the grid

Contrary to the assertions of some, electricity networks will be vital in any effort to decarbonise our power system. The issue is whether we allow the growth of solar and batteries to be driven by the value they create or their ability to shift costs onto others.

Why does the IEA keep underestimating solar and wind?

The International Energy Agency released its latest World Energy Outlook on Monday,stating they 'see clear signs that the energy transition is underway.' The problem is, the numbers they use in the report don’t really match up with this stated optimism, repeating a historical pattern of error.

Is our power system operator predicting blackouts?

If you believe some in the media we are apparently at imminent risk of suffering serious blackouts as a result of proliferating solar panels and wind farms. But is that what the energy market operator actually said?

I regret calling customers greedy and selfish

The managing director of one of Australia's major power networks - Jemena - better explains his remarks about those considering the use of solar and batteries to go off-grid, and why customers and society will be well served by using the electricity network to share power.

Weaning myself off gas and then the power grid

What happens to your power consumption when you switch off the gas central heater? And what does it mean for taking the next step of disconnecting from the power line too?

SunEdison’s US$70/MWh bid wins Indian solar auction

Record low price in 500MW solar auction raises eyebrows about financial viability.

Renewable certificate prices continue upwards as concerns rise of 2017 shortage

Large-scale renewable energy certificates or LGCs are close to passing the $70 mark with little sign of retailers signing onto agreements for new projects and concerns growing about a shortage in 2017. Meanwhile small-scale certificates are stuck at the price cap as the clearing house deficit exceeds 2 million certificates.

As Tesla accelerates gigafactory production, Hunter Valley town looks to go off-grid

As a new housing development near Newcastle considers going without a connection to the main grid, Tesla announces it is bringing forward production of the Powerwall at its new mega battery factory.

Latest big solar auction bodes well for ARENA, delivering below $US80/MWh

The first round results from the latest Indian solar auction indicate prices below $US80/MWh will be realised. Such results used to create surprise and disbelief, but are now feeding expectations that bidding under ARENA’s big solar auction will be fierce.

Are intermittent, unreliable wind farms causing havoc in SA again?

Parts of South Australia lost power supply last night due to the loss of grid connection with Victoria. Is this a sign of things to come from a grid increasingly dominated by unreliable wind and solar power?