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).
SA Power Networks says it will now move to charge solar customers $100 more than other average households. Wait a second how does solar increase network infrastructure costs when it reduces demand on the network? Something is very odd here.
According to promoters of uranium mining stocks we can soon expect a huge boom in nuclear power because there's so many power projects 'planned' to be built. Based on that logic you might be surprised to learn what it means for solar and wind power.
Origin Energy says it now has greater confidence to invest in wind and large-scale solar with prices at a 'level required for new wind projects'. While AGL continues to say its wallet is shut unless gov't moves to address overcapacity by shutting down existing coal plant.
AGL believes that solar is here to stay irrespective of what happens with government policy and regulations. But without new models of selling solar as a packaged power service they believe 50% of the market will remain uninterested in solar, and this spells the demise of the small solar installer.
Were support programs for solar a horrible punitive tax on the poor that will make no impact on climate change? What about the fact they've reduced wholesale power prices largely at the expense of shareholders in Origin Energy, Mitsui, AGL and China Light and Power and provided us with what is now a low cost source of zero emission electricity?
Back in 2009 and even 2011, if all we cared about was reducing the largest amount of emissions within just a few years solar PV would be towards the bottom of the list. Yet in the 3½ years since I left the Grattan Institute solar PV costs have dropped so far that it's worth celebrating rather than lamenting.
The Abbott Government has achieved a significant cut to the Renewable Energy Target yet a clause in the federal legislation prevents state schemes similar to the federal RET. One workaround options stands out for climate-concerned state energy ministers.
Making native forest wood waste eligible under the RET is unlikely to make a material difference to solar and wind projects by itself. But anti-RET senators Leyonhjelm and Day could use it for ends that extend beyond just wood waste.
Bank survey finds 50% of Australian households interested in purchasing sub-$10,000 battery system. Foresees market of 2.4m households with solar and batteries that will hit Origin and AGL earnings by $100m each.