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).
After the first one to two kilowatts, the revenue from extra solar capacity steeply declines. But once you take into account the other element of the equation – costs – going bigger starts to make complete sense.
New polling shows ownership of solar is almost exactly the same across Labor, Conservatives, Greens, and unaligned voters. It's one key reason why the Abbott Government got cold feet on abolishing the small-scale Renewable Energy Target.
The recent huge spike in Australian gas prices has been driven by LNG contracts - contracts that tie its price to that of oil. The plunge in the oil price could mean cheap gas again with flow-on implications for the competitiveness of wind and solar power.
Hawaii has been leading the US in solar uptake. The new owner of its power utility is also removing the brakes, moving to fast track grid connection of solar systems up to 250% of a network circuit's daytime minimum demand.
Some have questioned why we would do such a thing. Our response to this is that we have never felt that we have anything to hide. We do not believe the study has found anything strong enough to warrant further action.