Tagged With solar

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In the wake of the Coalition deciding to scrap Dr Alan Finkel's proposed Clean Energy Target, Turnbull announced its replacement will be something called the National Energy Guarantee. How is this different to the CET, and will it still be able to have the needed impact on Australia's carbon emissions to reach our Paris climate target? We got in touch with some of Australia's leading experts to decipher Turnbull's NEG.

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Malcolm Turnbull has again pushed the idea of a "technology neutral" approach to energy policy, after scrapping the Clean Energy Target recommended by Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, which Tony Abbott had previously referred to as a "tax on coal". The CET will now be replaced with a National Energy Guarantee, with a focus on reducing power bills and guaranteeing reliability through focusing on so-called "dispatchable" generation.

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6,500 home battery systems were installed across Australia in 2016. In the first half of 2017 alone that number has jumped to 7,000 - with analysts predicting at least 20,000 battery installations by the end of the year.

The cost of battery system installations has dropped - mainly due to increased competition among wholesalers - but only by five per cent. So what is causing the sudden and significant uptake? The rising cost of electricity, apparently.

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US researchers say The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has underestimated the importance of photovoltaic solar energy, claiming the technology could provide up to 50 per cent of the world's electricity needs by 2050.

Shared from The Conversation

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Solar has become the world’s favourite new type of electricity generation, according to global data showing that more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity is being installed than any other generation technology.

Worldwide, some 73 gigawatts of net new solar PV capacity was installed in 2016. Wind energy came in second place (55GW), with coal relegated to third (52GW), followed by gas (37GW) and hydro (28GW).

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Home batteries have never seemed like a smarter or more viable choice for households with solar since the Tesla Powerwall burst onto the scene less than two years ago. Soon after it wasn't just Tesla -- other options were popping up on the market, a vast variety of batteries for different types of homes with different needs. We set out to speak to three early adopters of battery technology to see what it's like to live with solar batteries, to measure how its changed their energy use and -- most importantly -- their power bills.

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With electricity prices on the rise and an uncertain future ahead for Australian electricity, it's not surprising that more and more Aussies are looking at the option of home batteries. What is surprising is just how fast the market is progressing -- batteries are rapidly coming down in price and the numbers suggest they aren't just for early adopters anymore.

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With the price of energy from new wind or solar rapidly dropping below that of traditional fossil fuels, renewable energy seems like a clear way forward. Yet despite massive strides in efficiency and affordability, the nature of renewable resources means you can't generate solar while the sun isn't shining, or wind while the wind isn't blowing. What you can do, however, is store that energy while conditions are good, and save it for a rainy day.

Shared from Theconversation

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While there are now more solar panels in Australia than people, the many Australians who live in apartments have largely been locked out of this solar revolution by a minefield of red tape and potentially uninformed strata committees.

In the face of these challenges, Stucco, a small co-operative housing block in Sydney, embarked on a mission to take back the power. Hopefully their experiences can serve as a guide to how other apartment-dwellers can more readily go solar.

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Indian multinational conglomerate Adani has given the go-ahead for work to start on its huge, controversial Carmichael mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin. While the move is being called out as a stunt -- with many questioning where the funding for the project is coming from -- it still beggars belief that the project has got this far at a time when our focus should be on investing in renewables and keeping our mineral resources in the ground.

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Tesla has announced Australian pre-orders for its solar roof, with installations starting in 2018. The idea is fantastic -- replace your house roof with solar tiles that look good, generate power and are even more durable than existing options. But in the real world, is it worth the price? We crunch the numbers to find out.

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The southern stretches of the Monaro Highway make for a wholesome pastoral drive, passing fields full of cows and golden grass swaying in soft breezes. The road winds around hills and dams, at one point tipping up and over a crest to reveal an unexpected sight: thousands of solar panels shining in the hard Australian sun.

This is the Royalla Solar Farm -- a paddock full of solar photovoltaic modules that together are capable of powering 4500 Canberra homes. And despite living in Australia's smallest territory, Royalla is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ACT's solar accomplishments.

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In a recent trial of 'mini grid' technology, a group of eight Melbourne houses were linked to each other to form a self-sustaining, all-renewable grid completely independent of mains electricity. Electricity was drawn instead from combined solar and battery systems on the houses, which could even cover the houses without solar systems installed.

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Winter is fast approaching and many solar panel owners are already anticipating the drop in solar power output that comes in the cooler months. With shorter days, more cloud cover and the sun shining at a different angle, it feels like a foregone conclusion to lose up to a third of your solar system’s usual output. But don’t despair too quickly -- there are things that can be done to make sure your panels continue operating as efficiently as possible all through the winter.