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.
QLD Labor's plan to merge government power generators into one company would be like merging Coles and Woolies. At the same time the LNP must break-up the two government generators into more companies if privatisation is to really deliver lower bills.
The Aussie wind farm developer has paid for the anti-wind farm lobby to take its best free shot at linking wind turbines to health woes – by cherrypicking 6% of the data from three households, it's got its answer.
The chief scientist at the number-one producer of solar panels says we can't expect past price plunges to continue, but that doesn't mean the cost of power from solar won't continue its downward trend.
A Victorian power network is willing to pay a premium for power exported from solar systems and has been for several years now. Yet few have noticed and retailers aren't passing it on. It shows the risks but also opportunities from power price reform.
Santa, I know your home's foundations are threatened by melting Arctic ice, but please don't give Tony a lump of coal for Christmas - it won't help things. Instead there are four gifts that he'd enjoy which could even change his mind on climate change.
Governments are ignoring a review they commissioned which finds homeowners are being ripped-off as the building industry flouts laws aimed at reducing energy bills and improving the energy efficiency of new homes.
A deal between the government and crossbench senators to cut the large-scale RET to 32,500GWh may actually work out better for the renewable energy industry than waiting out for a deal involving Labor. It offers greater upside and less risk of no deal at all.
SunEdison has now proved that the low power prices for large-scale solar power achieved in India and Brazil were no fluke, contracting to build 350MW in Chile. It will have all the competing technologies such as wind, gas and nuclear feeling decidedly uncomfortable.
The COAG position leaves the generators on the back foot as they try to steer supply and demand back in their favour. Utilities may now increase their focus on undermining new renewables, about which ministers were more vague.
The latest data from Green Energy Markets shows solar PV installations powering on at 75MW for November but with QLD in decline. Meanwhile large scale renewable generation market share has been steadily declining thanks to seasonal factors and little new capacity due to RET uncertainty.