Alan Kohler is one of Australia’s most experienced business commentators. Alan has been a trusted source of investment advice to Australians for many years, and in 2005 he founded Eureka Report - Australia’s #1 online investment report. Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website. Alan is the regular finance presenter on the ABC News and producer of the popular nightly graph (or two).
Affordable home energy storage coupled with solar offers amazing potential. But if solar retailers really want to help their customers lower their power bills there's a few other options they should consider first.
Renewable energy certificates are now hitting record peaks. Solar rebate certificates or STCs are hitting the price cap and large-scale certificates or LGCs are now well and truly out of the doldrums lodged above $50.
In the world of clean energy this past week - Canada's Alberta will be doubling its carbon price to $30/tonne, renewables to grab two thirds of new power investment globally, a Republican Senator praised Obama for acting on climate change and things looking up for renewables in Australia.
New research by our grid operator suggests minimal market for home energy storage or electric vehicles, but not because batteries will be too expensive but rather because they think solar will get more and more expensive.
Major business groups representing big polluters including the BCA, ESAA and AiG have teamed up with environmental activists to call for emission reduction policies that aren't simply seen as a joke by investors. Why would they care?
Energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport would bring Australia’s emissions back to 2005 levels by 2030. Then switching to renewables in the electricity sector, and powering more sectors with that green energy, plus some land use changes and a switch to biofuel and gas in some areas, would finish the job.
$450m has been committed to construction of the Ararat Wind Farm, breaking a two-year investment drought with a bang. But it's not yet clear that passage of the new RET means other investors will flock in, although they probably should.
Batteries, microgrids, automated devices ... these are the ideas dominating our view of Australia's future grid. But changing lifestyle patterns too, such as our rapidly evolving approach to pet ownership, means the grid'll be defined by more than just technologies.
The regulator's decision to reject South Australia's punitive solar network tariff is a welcome first. But multiple network businesses nationwide still have discriminatory tariffs for solar households.