JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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One million useless solar panels

Only five years ago Australia had a mere 20,000 solar systems installed on homes across the country. Now thanks to a Gonzo-Big-Daddy-Government we have over one million solar systems, almost all of them producing electricity that could have been made for something like a fifth of the price with coal.

The Clean Energy Regulator spins it as though wasting money on inefficient equipment in the hope of reducing world temperatures is a good thing for Australia.

“…the Clean Energy Regulator, which estimates that those solar energy systems provide power for around 2.5 million Australians. With a population of around 23 million, that means over ten percent of the country benefits from solar power.”

So 10% of Australians benefit from solar, and 90% pay for it?

“The regulator also says the installations have saved Australians about half a billion dollars on electricity bills!”

The regulator doesn’t say how much Australians had to pay to “save” a half a billion dollars.

In Dec 2011 The Productivity Commission estimated $777m in one year alone:

At the prevailing REC prices, this effectively provided an up-front capital subsidy of $777 million to solar PV systems in 2010.

In October 2012, The Weekend Australian estimated a cost of $3 billion:

SUBSIDIES for the Gillard government’s rooftop solar scheme are threatening to blow out to $3 billion as households rush to install panels to beat price hikes related to the start of the carbon tax.

In NSW that was nearly $300 per household or business:

NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher said the combined impact of the carbon tax and the RET added $270 to NSW household and small business annual electricity bills and the state government wanted the RET closed.

The Victoria Auditor General showed large scale solar costs about 5.5 times as much as coal, and small scale rooftop solar would cost even more. The part time nature of solar power means large scale baseload providers (like coal fired power) run less efficiently.  There are rarely any actual CO2 savings, and the savings there are, are not cheap. (The productivity commission estimated the RET scheme “abated” CO2 emissions at a cost of $177–$497/ton. Tarrifs have been reduced since then, but then, on the EU market, CO2 credits sells for 3 Euro a ton.) Peak electricity use at home is before 9am and after 3pm, (not the sunniest part of the day).  Our baseload power consumption even on the quietest nights is still 60% of the peak. Solar just can’t do that.

As usual, fans of solar talk about the “capacity”:

The national installed capacity is now at 2.452 GW from 1,011,478 solar PV systems.

But when it’s dark their capacity is zero GW. The average works out to be around 5 – 20% of the total installed capacity. (See also wikipedia)

If we have spent $3 billion on solar power we could have bought the same electricity from coal instead and had $2 billion to spare for medical research. Buying inefficient solar panels from China is not going to make us a world leader, and it isn’t going to cool the planet. Are we doing it in the hope that the profits from the fake solar market will help someone somewhere “invent” solar power that works? If so, why not just spend the money on research ourselves? We might even discover something worth using and selling.

Related posts:

 

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212 comments to One million useless solar panels

  • #
    john robertson

    This is government, as we have come to know it.
    Create fake need.
    Throw tax dollars at it.
    Claim imaginary benefit for taxpayer.
    Channel all moneys through the filters of the chosen ones.
    Repeat as necessary.
    Continually refine filters to collect more.
    Run out of tax dollars.
    Raise taxes, increase theft as necessary.
    Until the political bureaucracy is punished for their disgusting behaviour, they will continue to lie, steal and corrupt.
    What is rewarded, will continue and this species of parasite has had a good run.
    Pity we are out of money and productive people are sitting on their hands.

    530

  • #
    Kaboom

    Not to mention that it is ironic that a Labour government distributed massive amounts of wealth from tenants paying electricity bills and have no way of installing solar panels to benefit from government generosity to house owners who do.

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    • #
      Rob JM

      Just another subsidy to asset rich baby boomers at the expense of the younger generations. No different to negative gearing!

      73

      • #
        Bobl

        No, no negative gearing is a social good. A few years ago a government did change gearing rules so that losses on investment realestate were no longer deductable, the result was a critical shortage of rental housing. It was so bad the policy was reversed. Property doesn’t stack up against other investments unless its treated the same – it’s a business.

        Think of it this way, if the government cut gearing, then without deductions the owners then need to recover at least the interest rate on their loans plus costs water/rates/maintenance etc, from the tenant to make a profit – what do you think might happen then if these expenses became non-deductable?

        50

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Bobl

          Yes, isn’t it amazing how easy it is to brainwash people by bringing up the idea that others, the baby boomers, had it easy.

          Envy, and misinformed envy at that, is such a wonderful tools for gathering votes from the easily lead.

          Funny that I don’t think the envy would extend to wanting to duplicate years of part time study at

          University while working through the day and attending lectures at night.

          Nor would it want to go without holidays “away”, eating out at restaurants, drinking four days a week

          and SAVING hard instead. Plenty of Non Boomers also know how to save and live moderately so it

          just requires the sense of purpose and capacity to ignore the bullshit put out by the left and get on and do it.

          As you say, owning a rental property is not fun, just a way of engaging in life with the expectation of some reward at the end. It really is not something to be envied, just a lot of hard work.

          KK :)

          70

      • #
        David

        You could try what a lot of Baby Boomers and those of us just prior to the BB’s did. Hold down a job, study for promotion in your service if in uniform, complete a degree part time, raise a family, get a second job to help pay the mortgage on a modest home, make do with one family car [not in the luxury class], pay for your children’s needs in education and, if you could afford it, take a holiday somewhere in Oz. We have earned every single dollar we have and if you got of your backside you may end up at some future date relatively comfortable like the Baby Boomers you obviously despise. And to top it off if you are a self funded retiree you still pay for every service you need. Or is commitment to a goal just too hard for you diddums?

        30

  • #

    I like to look at the costs and benefits. The British Stern Review of 2006 tried to provide an economic justification for policies to save the planet. Based on extreme catastrophism that not even the UNIPCC would dare publish, and some crazy new economics (that have yet to be published in an economics journal), Stern estimated that the maximum justifiable cost was £80 (A$120) per tonne of CO2 abated. Prof Richard Tol estimates the maximum justifiable cost is less than A$10, applying more mainstream economic analysis to alarmist projections. Therefore I find the following following somewhat perverse

    The productivity commission estimated the RET scheme “abated” CO2 emissions at a cost of $177–$497/ton

    Any politician who promotes solar panels on this basis is either knowingly making the world a worse place by their actions, or is acting negligently. Or maybe the same moral standards of a duty of care applied to medical doctors, employers or professionals in many fields do not apply to the political classes?

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  • #

    I like to look at the costs and benefits. The British Stern Review of 2006 tried to provide an economic justification for policies to save the planet. Based on extreme catastrophism that not even the UNIPCC would dare publish, and some crazy new economics (that have yet to be published in an economics journal), Stern estimated that the maximum justifiable cost was £80 (A$120) per tonne of CO2 abated. Prof Richard Tol estimates the maximum justifiable cost is less than A$10, applying more mainstream economic analysis to alarmist projections. Therefore I find the following following somewhat perverse

    The productivity commission estimated the RET scheme “abated” CO2 emissions at a cost of $177–$497/ton

    Any politician who promotes solar panels on this basis is either knowingly making the world a worse place by their actions, or is acting negligently. Or maybe the same moral standards of a duty of care applied to medical doctors, employers or professionals in many fields do not apply to the political classes?

    40

  • #
    handjive

    Solar panels take 100 years to pay off

    Solar panels are one of the least cost-effective ways of combating climate change and will take 100 years to pay back their installation costs, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) warned yesterday.

    Given that the devices have a maximum lifetime of 30 years, they are never likely to recoup the £3,000 to £20,000 cost of their installation. ❞

    Why solar hot water panels are the new double glazing: They don’t work much of the time and take 100 YEARS to pay for themselves…

    191

    • #
      bioscruffy

      What rubbish! solar hot water works in most cases almost 100% of the time. I and many of my friends have unboosted solar hot water and it is a very rare thing to run out of hot water at all.They are almost maintenence free as well and will last over 25 years if you keep up the very little maintenence required. (cleaning the glass and replacing the annodes)

      64

      • #
        Streetcred

        My domestic hot water system is gas … it never runs out of hot water, period !

        100

      • #
        FarmerDoug2

        I have had solar hot water for over 25 years and except for winter months when it is disconnected for frost protection have had no trouble. Never been cleaned. Did replace a glass once that was mysteriously broken. Winter house heating doubles as water heater. Modern capiliary units are probably even better.
        Doug

        30

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          I agree Doug.

          Solar HW is probably the closest thing to a “Renewable” although I don’t know how it would go without connection to the booster.

          We had it installed on our previous home and it seemed to cut down power use, without imposing on other electricity users as occurs now with solar Power.

          It may even have paid for itself inside 10 years even with the subsidy.

          Still it was an experiment and the best scenario would have been to put the money into a new more efficient power station at Eraring.

          KK

          10

      • #
        cohenite

        What rubbish! solar hot water works in most cases almost 100% of the time. I and many of my friends have unboosted solar hot water and it is a very rare thing to run out of hot water at all.

        Rare thing: 2 days of rain.

        30

      • #
        Jaymez

        I would say you are very fortunate; or you hardly shower – perhaps that explains the name Bioscruffy? ;) I have had three homes with solar hot water systems dating back to 1981. In each home it was a more modern generation but worked the same way. If you ran out of hot water, you switched the electric booster on. In winter, it was required every morning for a family which showered in the morning. If you forgot to switch the booster off, it cost a fortune in electricity keeping the water hot unnecessarily. I doubt it saved any money and it was incredibly inconvenient with lots of cold and lukewarm showers. And this is in Western Australia with plenty of sunshine!

        I think for a couple showering in the evening, it might work, but for a family, who bath primarily in the morning, they are not efficient.

        70

      • #

        Obama promised to replace/repair the solar panels Jimmy Carter put on the White House roof for solar hot water–last report was there are still no panels up there. Not sure why.

        I have a question on the panels–what happens if hails? Where I live there’s a lot of hail and I can’t imagine putting solar panels on the roof.

        20

    • #
      Robert

      We moved to Florida in the early part of the 70′s. Around 1976 or 1977 my dad had solar panels put up on the roof of one of the garages to heat our water. The way it worked was the cold water was piped up to the panels and came back down to enter the electric water heater. If the water temperature remained above the set point on the electric heater then it never ran, whenever it dropped below that point the electric heater would kick on to bring the temperature back up. Can’t say it saved us much but I was only 12 or 13 at the time so the economics of it meant nothing to me then.

      My parents divorced a few years later, the house was sold, haven’t been there in years. Out of curiosity I looked up the old address on google earth sometime back and got a nice satellite photo of the house. The solar panels are long gone. One would expect that if they were such a boon they would have been maintained or replaced rather than scrapped.

      Of course since most homes typically have higher hot water use at night after sunset or early morning prior to the solar panels being at their peak efficiency the odds are that the water going into the heater to replenish the hot water that had been used was being warmed by electricity more often than not.

      80

    • #
      bioscruffy

      My word, Mark D, resorting to personal insult instead of considered argument……and two days of rain doesn’t result in no hot water

      00

      • #

        The most efficient hot water solar systems have large storage tank 100 gal+ that sends the coldest water up to the roof where it returns the warmed water back to dip tube of same tank. On demand for hot water use, the hottest water goes into the input of a smaller 20 gal boosted/heated tank that hardly ever needs to run the heating element except at the end of big parties;) or refilling the pool or hot tub.

        00

      • #
        Mark D.

        Bioscruffy, that was hardly a personal insult. I didn’t say you stink or anything.

        Usually people that immediately get defensive and for that matter use those words “considered argument” when in fact we aren’t arguing (yet) are behaving a bit troll-like.

        I do know a little bit about solar hot water having built a couple of small systems. I also know how difficult it is to have enough hot water for a family of 5 in the northern climes that I’m familiar with. So what I was doing is making a joke.

        In addition to the solar hot water, I have solar panels, I’ve built manure digesters to produce methane, I’ve built wind-generators. I’m contemplating a partial earth-sheltered house. I eat red meat, drive a really big truck, have leather shoes, hunt big game (and eat them). I grow food in a big garden, I compost scraps, I use pesticides, I eschew “organic” (cause almost everything already is organic). I’m a Right wing, red neck, gun toting nut that likes classical music, bluegrass, rock, and Celtic. I sing in the church choir, love my wife and three children, and do laundry. I cook vacuum and wash windows. I hate Political correctness and love the Constitution.

        Get a thicker skin, stick around here awhile and, glad to meet you.

        20

        • #
          bioscruffy

          You sound like my kind of person, Mark got any good links to biomass digesters? and its good to meet you also

          10

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Steam engines are magnificent to see up close, if you get a chance to see a traction engine fired up have a look.
    However they require a lot of,

    - fuel (wood, coal)

    - Water, bigger the engine more water.

    - Maintenance, high temps need monitoring.

    Yes they were a great idea in their day but would I want one in my car?
    Of course not however if the technology has not reached it’s design pinnacle, (well maybe it’ll work),
    if it has, move on to something that does!

    32

    • #
      Dennis

      Actually there have been steam cars that were efficient and low cost of operation, one that I have experienced is the Dobel from the US built in the 1920s, looks like a Rolls Royce and even has sliding glass windows. Howard Hughes was an owner and one of his cars is now in Sydney owned by a collector of alternative energy vehicles. The Dobel steam engine has a fast start up producing steam and travels a very long way on a gallon of kero.

      The technology was upgraded by a Melbourne inventor who converted a 1970s Ford Falcon into a quick start steam car, his prototype was taken to the US by Ford for evaluation and as far as I am aware nothing has been heard about the invention since.

      Olds Engineering (Oldsmobile automobiles US family and REO trucks: R.E.Olds) in Maryborough Queensland are steam engine fanatics and members of that family built steam boats, steam engines and steam cars in the early 1900s or pre WW2. The car was once driven to Sydney and back, I forget the kero consumption but it was impressive and superior to modern internal combustion engines.

      70

      • #
        Rob JM

        Coal fired power stations are just high tech steam engines, as are nuclear.

        60

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Thanks Dennis,
        That’s what I was trying to say (in a bit rush earlier) why are we throwing money at inferior solar design when there are better solar ideas to develop or explore?
        I was alluding to the earliest steam engines but as you pointed out there is still potential for steam to be viable in the future.
        Without steam technology coal @ nuclear power will have trouble working, but that’s the great thing about dealing with skeptics who understand that rational scientific debate is the only way to progress in learning and development.
        If I was on some warmist site trying to look for an intelligent discussion I would be fed propaganda and abuse, I hope people realize and appreciate the wealth of knowledge and ideas that is presented here on a daily basis.
        Also the humor helps too. :)

        60

        • #
          Dennis

          Yonniestone I believe that there could be a new future for steam power.

          30

          • #
            Andrew McRae

            Is Air or a Gasoline/Air hybrid the next best thing?

            There’s a company making a small car that runs on compressed air. The critics are not amused.

            00

            • #

              Does anyone remember when safety in cars was the paramount thing? Once upon a time, Ralph Nader threw fits about driving around in death traps. Now, people drive golf carts on the street and tiny cars. I suppose there’s some solace to be taken in people discovering life is not safe, but still, what happened to auto safety?

              11

  • #
    Ace

    But its not wasting money….somebody is getting some damn good graft out of this.

    Its not an ECO issue but one of endemic and blatant corruption. I expect youve a long way to go to catch up with the Mediterranean countries. But here in UK the corruption is both endemic and very blatant. A fish wont notice the water it swims in and the average Brit doesnt notice all the shed-loads of shiny new useless and irrelevant things public money is being funneled through to whoever buys the contract.

    130

    • #
      Robert

      Last semester I took Intro to Mass Communications, not so much by choice as by need to fill out my schedule. “Amusing ourselves to death” by Neil Postman was briefly discussed in the class. In doing a little research prior to quiz that was to include questions regarding Mr. Postman’s piece I did some poking around online and found a cartoon contrasting George Orwell’s concerns about society as found in “1984″ vs. Aldous Huxley’s concerns about society as found in “Brave New World.”

      Aldous Huxley vs. George Orwell

      I do find it rather interesting having read both books long ago and your comment of “a fish won’t notice the water it swims in” brought this to mind. While so many bring up Orwell many, if not most, forget Huxley. Give the average citizen enough distractions and they won’t notice the corruption, theft, loss of freedoms, etc. As long as they have “some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumble-puppy” they will be too preoccupied to notice or complain about the graft and corruption in their government.

      120

      • #
        Ace

        Robert, your Orwell / Huxley contrast takes me back to when we read them in school as well. Then and until now I thought Huxley really had described an ideal society. One in which everyone gets what they want. Even the “savage” and his suicide, achieves the apotheosis to his meaning in life. I thought the cunning ingenuity of Huxley was in creating an image of a society which would repel the average reader but which is, on close examination, one in which everyone is “happy”. I had forgotten that debate until now you remind me. Now I see things differently.

        10

  • #
    Bruce of Newcastle

    I like the carbon credits in Jo’s graphic. Very apt. Yesterday was historic as UN carbon emission certificates fell to 1 euro cent per tonne of CO2.

    Please do not use them inappropriately.

    80

    • #

      Does anyone else find it odd that these constitute a license to pollute, basically? If we are cutting carbon output, shouldn’t we just cut carbon output instead of trading credits?

      00

  • #
    MadJak

    And the result is…,

    ALP Fanatic Mr Richardson gloating over the fact that the vandal of the decade has left the countries finances in such a complete mess it’s going to make the coalition governments job so much harder.

    I just cannot get over the stupidity of this – wreck the economy with class warfare, subsidising industries which aren’t efficient enough to stand on their own, butcher the budget by pushing out the budget to 15 years plus to make this years look less worse, and then they continue to butcher the finances until the hole in the budget is too big to hide. And then gloat about the fact that the next government will inherit such a completely buggered economy that it will make them unpopular.

    But to then gloat about it? Words fail.

    It’s taken this bunch of amateur wannabe communists 5 years to unwind at least 20 years of responsible financial administration.

    I can only conclude that the objective since the ALP came to power in the first place was to completely obliterate the countrys’ finances by blowing it all on schemes of no value to the economy.

    260

    • #
      Dennis

      To think that this government has experienced far better terms of trade that in the Howard Coalition years and despite falling revenue much high revenue than the Howard years, inherited zero debt and a $22 Billion budget surplus, 4% unemployment etc and have since racked up $174 Billion of deficits as at June 2012 and more this financial year to be added, plus by June $300 Billion of debt not including hidden off budget NBN Co borrowing. Fiscal foolisness, economic vandalism, incompetence and deceptive behaviour.

      110

      • #
        MadJak

        Dennis,

        It appears to me that there are two groups of people in Australia:

        1) People who can count, add and subtract
        2) ALP Supporters

        140

        • #
          Dennis

          Madjack and Green/ALP supporters seem to believe there is a magic pudding of money supply that never needs to be repaid or need to pay an annual interest bill that is a budget liability.

          80

          • #
            MadJak

            Dennis,

            The greens are in a different category – they can count, add and subtract, but they just want the capitalist system to be destroyed so they can have yet anotehr try and communism. Because it’s worked so well the last time communism was tried, and the time before that and before that….Not.

            80

            • #
              Charles

              Are you two enjoying your circlejerk?

              The ALP has kept our unemployment low, inflation low, GDP up, Aussie dollar up, credit rating up – and brought carbon pollution down – all in the face of News Ltd and Abbott’s mates in the media trying to drag them down.

              To suggest that having debt means bad financial management must mean that all Australians out there with a mortgage are bad financial managers? Nothing wrong with debt so long as you can service it.

              09

              • #

                Having debt like a mortgage is not the same as government debt. With a mortgage, if you don’t pay, you lose the house. With the government, if you don’t pay, you just vote to raise the limit on the credit card (or in the case of a mortgage, add a second and a third and a fourth mortgage). When the money used to pay the debt is considered infinite and the government sees all money as theirs, it’s not the same as your average citizen. When you apply for a mortgage, the bank decides if you make enough money to be given the loan. Who does that in the government? They write their own check. There is no incentive to care about whether or not the debt can be paid, no personal loss to those who did the deficit spending.

                90

              • #
                Carbon500

                Carbon pollution? About 4% or so of the total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been attributed to human activity.
                Currently the total is about 390 molecules in a million of other gases (this figure excludes water vapour).
                So, 4% of this is about 16 molecules in a million. Not much is it?
                As for carbon dioxide’s toxicity – I’d like to see the figures demonstrating toxic effects at this concentration.

                30

              • #
                MadJak

                Charles:

                …and Abbott’s mates in the media trying to drag them down.

                Good grief – spare us the tired meme of the media hates you and your commie mates. The media is merely reflecting the polls – and this ha been in spite of having a whole ABC doing it’s best to try and put a positive spin on every balls up this government has ever managed to achieve.

                Nothing wrong with debt so long as you can service it.

                There is nothing wrong with Debt provided it is being used to provide something which is of positive benefit into the future and the return on the investment (tangible or intangible) is there. And you need to be able to service it. So where is the business case for the BER, the Pink Batts electrocution scheme, and the rest of all the ALP negligently mismanaged schemes.

                They couldn’t even put insulation in peoples homes without ballsing it up!

                Your writing makes very clear that you are all into spending for spendings sake, otherwise you would have put some intelligence into your statements.

                Wow – you really have no idea at all do you Charles!

                40

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Dennis

            Labor supporters don’t believe there is a magic pudding;

            that’s what they want the rest of us to believe while they milk the till.

            KK :)

            10

        • #
          Joe V.

          Democracy counts all those that can’t count/don’t count/won’t count equally to those that do count. That’s not a bad thing, I mean who wants to be held hostage to an accounting elite, right ? The idea that books ever have to be balanced is becoming an increasingly rather quaint one though, for increasing numbers becoming used to living on other people’s money.
          If the Government can get you onto the breadline, not counting and into debt, then you’re easier to exploit for every penny you earn. You become more dependent and more likely to vote socialist (principles notwithstanding) to sustain yourself with handouts, even as you work harder and harder to pay of all those commitments.
          When a society becomes so dependent on having so many dependents, dependent, it’s easy to see where it’s going to end up. Bankruptcy, so feared by preceding generations , is now seen as a viable economic strategy by governments and increasing numbers of citizens. (There are plenty fancy names dreamt up to dignify it). The rest of us, still chasing the illusion of a balanced budget are the mugs.

          60

      • #
        Rod Stuart

        It is not incompetent or foolish if you consider that it was deliberate.
        The destruction of the institutions and principles of our forebearers serves the UN Agenda.

        10

    • #
      Rob JM

      While nothing can excuse the ALP economic vandalism, the howard government should be considered economic terrorists!
      While overseeing the mining boom they deregulated bank lending standards and kept interest rates artificially low by not including home prices in CPI!
      Net result is a 3 trillion dollar private debt bubble which the government (aka us) is on the line for.
      Yay!
      The only good thing they did was introduce the GST which allows us to get some of the baby boomers ill gotten gains back!

      117

      • #
        MadJak

        Rob :

        …the howard government should be considered economic terrorists

        What a load of cobblers. The howard government paid down the last ALP Financial mess, and were reducing taxes to those who actually earn the money.

        Furthermore, that was during boom times. The ALP schitzophreniclly stuck to the keynesian meme and spent more, but they also undermined the economy by also increasing taxes. The result is a state dependant mess where small businesses have been martyred in the name of ALP ideologies.

        It’s economics 101 and complete and utter stupidity. Without Costellos time as treasurer, it would have taken less than two years for Economics ignoramus of the year to butcher the economy rather than the 4-5 years it has.

        90

        • #
          Charles

          “The howard government paid down the last ALP Financial mess” – by selling off public assets?

          “and were reducing taxes to those who actually earn the money” – personal taxes are lower now than they were in 2007.

          02

          • #
            MadJak

            Charles

            personal taxes are lower now than they were in 2007

            Typical cherry picked stat – I bet it makes you fell all warm and important doing that. You might even think that it was clever

            It wasn’t. It was as inaccurate as it was stupid.

            This Government has been higher taxing and higher spending, and to make matters worse their targeting of middle class australia has been utterly disgusting.

            10

      • #
        Dennis

        Rob GST was one part of a major economic reform package that including removing Wholesale Sales Tax ranging 17.5% to 27,5% and replacing it with a 10% GST which made goods cheaper but increased the price of many services but not all as some are exempted. The reforms included revising income tax dowmwards at all levels and an ongoing program that went through to 1 July 2010, Labor dared not overturn the program. The rest of your ill informed comment is as MadJak posted, a load of cobblers.

        70

      • #
        Jaymez

        Rob JM – Firstly both Keating and Costello’s roles in the deregulation of the Australian banking system is generally considered to have been beneficial to home owners, the building industry and the economy by allowing non-bank lenders into the home mortgage market. Secondly, are you seriously suggesting a housing bubble would have been avoided simply by including house prices in CPI data?

        For those interested you can look at the Analytical Cost of Living Index(ACLI) which is like the CPI with housing costs. So a measure does exist, but it didn’t stop the bubble. The rationale for separating it, is that building materials and labour costs were built into the CPI basket, so housing costs were really tracking land values. Land is an asset not consumption. It would be like including the price of gold in the CPI.

        10

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Could it be true?
      would socialists commit economic vandalism on purpose?
      Can anyone explain why these people exist?

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      • #
        Streetcred

        It’s happening before our eyes ! Like empirical data, it’s true !!

        ‘Don’t know why they exist but have often dreamt of ways to unexist them.

        30

    • #
      Annie

      Australia has now gone the way of the UK. When you were about to have your general election I remember thinking that the last thing Australia needed was a profligate Labour government to replace John Howard’s crew. Sadly, that’s what you got and they have now wildly dissipated all the ‘rainy-day’ savings made under Howard (carefully built up after their predecessors’ wastefulness).

      One of the outgoing Labour ministers here boasted to his Conservative sucessor that there was no money left in the till. Incredible, but it happened. The Opposition now attack the Coalition for not sorting out the economy…a bit rich, to put it mildly, given the worldwide situation and the idiocies of the Eurozone.

      30

  • #
    Apoxonbothyourhouses

    So what do you expect us to do Jo? In about two years the base price per kw/hr has risen from 19 cents to 33 cents. Thanks to the truly moronic policies of Gillard and (to his eternal shame) O’Farell the cost can only rise further. There is no clear vision cum policy regarding replacing old coal fired with efficient new (China, India, Germany etc) nor the introduction of rapid start-up gas fired, nor nuclear nor Thorium. Nothing!

    So what do you expect us to do? Lie there and be raped financially as is happening in parts of “green” and bankrupt California where some poor, literally, souls are paying up tp 92 cents!!!

    With no one apparently prepared to fight our corner – Craig Kelly MP excepted – the only solution open to the likes of we non indexed self funded retirees is to look after ourselves. So yes we are going to pay for more panels to be installed such that we are overall self sufficient then the visionless politicians can all get stuffed and charge what they want.

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    • #

      Exactly. They cost me $2400 including a nicely upgraded switchboard to latest standards. My solar panels save me at least $600 a year in electricity at present. This will only increase. For me they are a fantastic deal. That Labor voting, green dupe bogans get to subsidise this is icing on the cake.
      However I’d much rather the country start building modern power stations of any kind, designed to produce the cheapest possible electricity and get the price down to half what we now pay per Kw-H, which seems to be the average price in the US.

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      • #
        Rob JM

        My taxes are paying for you cheap solar panels, that being said I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same!

        20

      • #
        Streetcred

        Mike, I support your choice to install solar … but I detest having to pay higher electricity prices to subsidise your feed-in tariff. Feed in at the wholesale rate just like any other energy producer. There’s nothing to be proud about there, it’s morally wrong and not justifiable.

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        • #
          Greebo

          Couldn’t agree more, Streetcred. I was unable to stump up the cash for the install, but the bloke up the road was, because he has more money than me. Well, he now has even more money than me, ‘cos I’m subsidising his cheap power. What’s equitable about that?

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          • #
            Ace

            Shocking.
            Oh, a pun.
            No I mean it. Put like that it really is outrageous, the less well off subsidising the better off, graphically.

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            • #
              Rereke Whakaaro

              It is all part of the fiendish master planning by the elites to rid themselves of the lower classes vermin. We do not need more money, we just need to move it around in a faster way to the point where the poorer people cannot keep up. Thank Gore I am not one of the lower class vermin … hmm … just a minute … how woould I know???

              20

    • #
      Dennis

      Part of the NSW government’s financial problems and issues stems from Labor selling off half of the government owned power businesses valued at $12 Billion for $5.7 Billion, and after repaying debt hidden in those private company accounts, paid to the state Labor government as dividend which were used to make the state budget appear in better shape, a paltry $800 Million was realised.

      Knock the O’Farrell Coalition but before doing so consider the position they inherited from Labor.

      20

    • #
      Wally

      You do what I have done: grit your teeth and put in solar.

      It cuts your power bill and everyone else can get stuffed.

      JUST do your numbers: it needs to stack up if the feed in tariff is 0. If it does, then do it.

      The reason for assume a feed-in of 0 is because (like superannuation) the grubby politicians are involved, and sooner or later they will change the scheme so that all those subsidies through the huge feed-in will drop.

      Assuming any kind of government-legislated benefit will last a long time is foolish.

      30

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Wally, even if it stacks up with a FIT of zero (0) you need to be cautious because the politicians are still looking for ways to generate dollars.

        Not too many months ago there was a report of consideration being given to a “solar power surcharge” or similar, because those feeding solar power into the grid were not meeting the full cost of the service that the grid provided. So, you need to factor in a cent or two per solar KWH against the possibility that government will introduce a “solar surcharge” at some future date, in my view.

        In addition, in NSW at the moment I think there is a connection fee of $150 per billing period. The increase in that charge is a recent thing; and it’s an easy way to generate cash (think of all those holiday homes and weekenders that use bugger-all power for most of the year). Further increases in the connection fee don’t show up as costs per KWH.

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      • #
        john robertson

        Thats the key question, forcing us to chose a poor choice and everyone else can get stuffed.
        Is this an unintended consequence or the intention?
        The common good was the state utility providing electricity at cost.
        Now government can’t provide electricity cheaper than do it yourself, the common good is gone, stolen by all the tacked on freeloaders, riders and taxes.
        But they are here to help you.

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    • #
      llew Jones

      Now and then I get a call from eager purveyors of solar panels trying to get me to install a set. My standard response is I’m a climate change sceptic and I’m not a hypocrite so piss off.

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      • #
        jeffthe

        Llew, you are too polite. I simply tell them that they are spruiking “rich man’s” welfare, and then tell them to Foxtrot Oscar..

        It works a treat!

        10

  • #
    Scott

    I also what heat they generate? how much are they contributing to the urban heat signature

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    • #
      Andrew McRae

      The short answer is “almost nothing.”
      If you wish to read any further, steel yourself.

      Basically, simply because the solar cells appear dark they will gather and release heat just as any other non-white object will, but because they are siphoning off some of the incoming energy as electric current you are guaranteed they release less heat than a plain roof (of any material) painted the same dark colour.
      They will be releasing more heat compared to a lighter coloured roof.

      The factors predicting the amount of heat released (not exactly heat generated because energy can’t be created) from the panel per second are going to be:
      Sunlight Flux Density x Panel Area x (1 – Specular Reflection Coefficient) x (1 – Solar cell efficiency).

      The reflection coefficient should be quite low, but basically the shinier the protective front glass panel the more light is being reflected away before it gets to the solar cells. (A good reason to keep the panels free of dust.)

      The Solar Cell efficiency is also temperature dependent but I’ve ignored that here. The more wavelengths in the spectrum that the cell can convert, the bigger and broader the absorption spectrum will be, and the more efficient the cell will be.

      If the cells were 99% efficient they would convert nearly all incident light into electricity and virtually no heat would come off the panels, but in fact there is a limit to how efficient a solar cell can be of 33% due to some quantum theory that I will not even pretend to understand.

      At a rough guess at the numbers, that is 675W/m^2 of panel heat at peak on a cloudless day and most of the time it will be much less, or 5000W peak for the small 8m^2 installations on most homes. Well consider a 1200W heater takes an hour to warm up a small uninsulated enclosed room of perhaps 45m^3. Now consider to have any UHI effect all the city’s solar panels have to measurably warm 100km^3 of air while convection and wind are trying to blow the heat away. Forget it. No chance.

      Plus it must be said that even if the cells were 100% efficient, the energy they capture as electricity would just be released as heat somewhere else in the city wherever that electricity is actually used because (aside from some nuclear reactions) all energy turns into heat eventually.

      The vast majority of the measured UHI effect is from covered surfaces preventing the underlying soil from operating as a natural evaporative air-conditioner, plus tall buildings inhibiting convective cooling in CBDs, plus concrete and bitumen retaining that solar thermal energy longer than vegetation and dirt do after sunset. It’s mainly not from electricity usage regardless of where the electricity comes from. The numbers prove this easily…
      World electricity consumption is 20 trillion kWh per year.
      The total energy of insolation is around 3850000EJ/y or 1×10^18 kWh per year.
      So domestic electricity as a fraction of solar energy is 2×10^13 / 1×10^18 == refer to first line in this comment. :)

      And all the above is the justification for the following numerical answer to your question.

      Working backwards from the formula, you can see the amount of heat rejected by a solar panel is about 2.5 times as much as the electricity it generated. Considering solar power is presently supplying only a small fraction of electricity supply, and all electricity is a microscopic fraction of insolation, you can be sure all the solar panels put together are contributing to daily city temperature an amount less than 0.002% of the sun.

      10

      • #
        Scott

        Thanks Andrew

        and my tongue is firmly in my cheek but if as per your comment

        “all the solar panels put together are contributing to daily city temperature an amount less than 0.002% of the sun”

        and the expected reduction due to the carbon tax is 0.000…. % of a degree wouldnt it be more prudent to outlaw solar panels and get a larger reduction than the carbon tax?? the benefits would be huge. no subsideies and a greater temperature reduction ??

        10

        • #
          Andrew McRae

          The long answer is… Yes.

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        • #
          Greebo

          “all the solar panels put together are contributing to daily city temperature an amount less than 0.002% of the sun”

          and the expected reduction due to the carbon tax is 0.000…. %

          Are those the “adjusted” figures?

          10

          • #
            Andrew McRae

            They’re all rubbery figures, if that’s what you mean.

            If you don’t believe that UHI contribution of solar panels, just show me how you would work out what that number really is if it’s not 0.0002% of insolation. Even as a ball park figure it could be too small by 3 orders of magnitude and that would still not affect the end conclusion.

            As for the carbon tax temperature reduction figure, it was probably based on the IPCC figure of 2.1 degrees per doubling of CO2, so… ummm.. please read a web site called JoanneNova.com.au, you may have heard of it. ;)

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        • #
          mullumhillbilly

          Surely that question about heat is a red herring? Andrews lengthy reply is superfluous. If there is anything that can generate (extra) heat simply from incident sunlight, we would have a perpetual motion machine.

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  • #
    bioscruffy

    There is a way around paying for other people’s solar systems…. I have a small(1 kw) solar electricty system that I installed myself.I didn’t use anybody elses money,just mine.I back it up with a biodiesel powered generator recycled from a small ship and it was going to the scrappies if I didn’t use it.I run my Landrovers and tractor on the biodiesel as well.Tank water from the roof and unboosted solar hot water.
    Now I have no energy bills to pay for electricty or fuel and am working on using methane from the septic tank for the small amount of gas I use to cook with.
    About $8000.00 and a bit of human energy solves the problem!

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    • #
      cohenite

      Congratulations bs. Now if only everyone thought like you.

      Oh wait a minute; how are we going to power the cities, hospitals, schools, trains etc?

      There will always be those independent types who go it alone and can’t see the problem with everyone else doing the same thing. These people are superficially independent of the social infrastructure but actually rely on it as much as everyone else who is powered by the grid.

      It is grossly hypocritical of people with a few panels on their roof and a deisel in the back shed to suggest this as a solution to a non-existent problem such as AGW.

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      • #
        Dave

        Thumbs up

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      • #
        bioscruffy

        I didn’t say it was a solution to what in my opinion is the non existant problem of “global warming/climate change”, but by looking after my own energy needs I am allowing the energy to be used by others and that reduces the total energy produced by what are ( like it or not) pollution generating sources. Pollution is the real problem facing the worlds enviroment not AGW . I am harvesting just some of the amazing amounts of free energy available and get critisized for not being connected to the grid?

        10

        • #

          I see no problem with your wanting to live independently. You don’t seem to feel we should all “live off the grid” so it’s fine. I have a cabin that is off the grid. I wouldn’t want to do it full-time, thought I have neighbors who do live off the grid full-time. No criticism from me.

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        • #
          cohenite

          BS, opting out has long been the goal of a certain section of the community; whether that opting out is through removing themselves from the grid or really opting out and living in a cave is a matter of personal choice.

          The issue for me is those AGW believers, which may not include you, pretending that the society which they are still dependent on, can continue with everyone being ‘independent’ of the grid and essentially no grid power being needed.

          That is delusional, and expensive since apart from anything else duplication of power must occur.

          One of the characteristics of alarmists has been their negative attitudes towards the Western society which supports their AGW indulgences; to me this is the sort of parasitism which kills the host; at the very least it is very anti-social.

          I’m not saying you’re a parasite but don’t pretend your ‘self-sufficiency’ is lowering the overall demand for power because as people like TonyOz have explained full grid power must be maintained 24/7 for expected and non-expected peak periods.

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        • #
          Ace

          No disrespect, but you really are in a world of your own. You as much said so.

          Most people live in like…floor nine of tower block eight with two rooms and no window box let alone a yard, and 8000 of anything is already owed to the credit company for the basics of life.

          Your pride in self sufficiency is admirable but you dont seem to realise how damn lucky and affluent you are to even get started on that route.

          Feck me, you own land for crineoutloud!

          Its a bit like reading some guy boasting “I as my 8000 acres of arable an me few flocks of beef an I is self sufficient, I canno see whar all these low lifes is whining about”. Before he heads back to his mansion.

          10

          • #

            I own 145 acres of land in Wyoming. Five acres in one place, 140 in another. Does that make me rich? No–we have never earned much over the average wage for the area and often less. People who own land here are also called rich and entitled–my own sibling said to me “I didn’t know I had a rich sister”.

            How then do I own land? That is what I chose to spend my money on. Not cars, not fashion, not vacations. Land. People make choices with their money and go for what is important. Pretending that luck or being born rich or something got everyone to the point they are in life is ridiculous. Much of the time, it’s choices.

            I used to think people with cabins and land were “lucky” (attitude expressed by my class-envying mother). Then one day I realized–these people budgeted, called a realtor and searched for land they could afford. Which is exactly what we did to get the 140 acres. Then we saved money and built the cabin. It’s called planning and action.

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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Well, Biodegradable, whatever power source you are using for your computer

          to write here about your backwoods exploits, we can say one thing.

          It is reliable.

          Just a point of interest; do you use a wood fired stove and heating?

          As you say, pollution is the problem, not CAGW.

          oops. Just noted you are using bio-fuel for power backup and for the vehicles.

          Are you aware of the combustion issues of this item?

          KK :)

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          • #
            Ace

            …and what was the ships engine recycled from before they put it in the ship, or who home-made the ship it came from, or they land rovers, were they made from origami, or macrame, or wishful thinking, without using electricity? Which peons peddle the generators to light the roads they roll on, and how many rubber trees do you sap to make your own tyres and save on the shipping, and how many miles will the eco-friendly mid-dwife have to walk when yer missus is in labour and does she have a tin can on the other end of a piece of string to yours to phone her up on and …really, it boggles the mind …

            And as KK says I wonder too, what manner of eco-ether is your comment coming to us over if you are shunning the grid-powered evil server empire of The Wicked Web?

            And whatttayoo do when you need that tank draining?

            and on and on and on.

            Cast;es in the clouds…

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Hi Bioscruff

      Things seem to have got out of hand here; unless there are other posts of yours I haven’t seen.

      Actually I would love to be out there experimenting as you are doing and living rough for a while.

      Its a great adventure and that seems to be all you are saying.

      Maybe others are reading into the comment that you are a full on bio CAGW Lefto Pinko whatever but I don’t

      see how that might be the case.

      Peace.

      KK :)

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      • #
        bioscruffy

        Well thanks Keith,a positive comment in all this and there is nothing rough about the way I live.
        Lets get this clear before I start..most people who know me would consider me to be more to the right than George W (one of the truly great American presidents) so you can forget all the left wing ,pinko veggie muncher crap. I do what I do and live like I do because I have the ability to build the stuff I build,so you other people who probably have problems trying to tie your shoelaces shouldn’t pick on me .
        Cohenite,if I don’t use power from the grid, the power I don’t use doesn’t need to be generated,I don’t care what Tony says. Of course, grid connect solar and those useless wind turbines need to be backed up by coal powered generators (personally I would prefer( nuclear ) but by supplying our own power, people like me reduce the power that needs to be generated for the grid.
        Now for you Ace, I live in a very nice house on140 acres in the beautiful Northern Rivers area of NSW,I’ve got a couple of Landrovers,a tractor,a shed full of great machinery and lots of other stuff….and how do you reckon I got all this stuff? I WORKED for it,left school at 15 ,was working for my self by the time I was 18 and employing people a couple of years later….so it seems that the harder I worked the luckier I got !
        The biodiesel I make and use is made like this ….the cotton seed oil is a byproduct of the cotton industry,the meal is used as a cattle feed,the oil is used to cook the fast food most of you fools eat,I make fuel from this (waste) product and the byproduct from this process is an amazing biodegradable detergent I give to any one who can use it….Biodiesel emits far less polutants than petrol or mineral diesel.I do use wood a few times in winter to heat my house,but it is a renewable resource and is lying about everywhere.
        I could go on but what’s the use? Remember, when you are paying your $1000 plus quarterly electricity bill I’m getting my power for FREE… suckers !

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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Hi Bio

          I think the problem is that people around here have become so conditioned to having posers spruik on the blog that it takes a while to sort out things and change gear when the real deal comes along.

          You are obviously not part of the SkS, Greenpe$ce, WWF thing and are doing it, not talking it.

          And I do like getting my hands dirty. Am in the middle of putting up 31 metres of fence in blackbutt that is 6 ft tall and needs some big holes dug with a crow bar, mattock and shovel.

          Just goes to show that you should first read all the comments in a thread before commenting and not start in the middle where things are going off track.

          All the best.

          KK :)

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    pat

    ICE suspends trade in spot carbon credits
    LONDON, April 25 (Reuters Point Carbon) – London-based ICE Futures Europe will suspend trade in its spot Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) from close of business on Thursday to give it time to update the contract’s specifications, the bourse said…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2323858?&ref=searchlist

    Barclays parts company with coal, carbon head
    LONDON, April 25 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Louis Redshaw, Barclays bank’s head of carbon, coal and iron ore, has resigned his position as managing director, the second high profile loss on one of the carbon market’s biggest trading desks within the past three months…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2323766?&ref=searchlist

    Austria spurns CO2 markets in drive to cut emissions
    LONDON, April 25 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Austria plans to spend 870 million euros ($1.14 billion) over the next seven years on domestic projects to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, as one of the largest sovereign carbon credit buyers seeks to cut its reliance on carbon markets to meet a 2020 EU target…

    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2323861?&ref=searchlist

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  • #
    pat

    Second pass at EU CO2 backloading plan faces delays: MEPs
    LONDON, April 25 (Reuters Point Carbon) – A second vote on a draft law to prop up EU carbon prices is facing delays after lawmakers on Thursday failed to agree on a legislative path for the divisive bill, two senior MEPs said…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2323882?&ref=searchlist

    REUTERS POLL-Analysts cut carbon price forecasts to 2020
    LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – Analysts have slashed forecasts for all European Union and United Nations’ carbon permit prices to 2020 after EU politicians rejected a plan to bolster the carbon market, sending prices to record lows…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/reutersnews/1.2323764?&ref=searchlist

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  • #
    ianl8888

    EUD 0.01/tonne CO2 :)

    Achilles has the arrow right through his heel now

    It’s not really funny. Countless billions of $$ worldwide are gone, kaput

    The Empire will strike back and it will be nasty

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    • #
      Dennis

      Minister Combet and the deceitful Julia Gillard have much to explain about the “carbon price” or carbon dioxide tax con they signed over to EU emissions trading membership and the now black hole they have on their hands.

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  • #
    The Black Adder

    Solar Panels are evil!

    Wind Turbines are evil!

    The RET is evil!

    It seems, the LNP and the ALP with the Greens are all evil!

    Coal is good!

    CO2 is good!

    Why am I not feeling good????

    30

    • #
      Rob JM

      Because the stress of conflict weakens the immune system (evolutionary adaptation to stop self annihilation of species)

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  • #

    The Energy Returned On Energy Invested for a typical solar panel installation is 0.48.

    An EROEI rating of less than unity (ie: 1.00) means the alternative energy will never return more energy than went into its design, manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, and decommisision.

    Why would you burn two barrels of oil to find one barrel? This is the legacy of solar pv power.

    Wind power is worse. By my calculations the EROEI is 0.29 at best.

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    • #
      gai

      And Biofuel is just as bad.

      It is all a complicated ponzi scheme that funnels money out of the poor and middle class in to the pockets of political favorites.

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  • #

    If I ever get to install solar panels, they will be to provide charging for a low-voltage independent system, back-up if (when) the reticulated power goes off. Maybe a sign out front stating that the panels are NOT connected to the grid?
    Not sure that will help. When the volatile part of the “90%” above realise the extent to which they are being ripped off, I fully expect them to start chucking rocks at these things.
    Handjive’s observation: “Solar panels take 100 years to pay off.” Same pay-off period up here (Townsville) for the (once) mandatory installation of domestic rainwater harvesting tanks, based on my process modelling.
    One of the reasons why here, exemption from the mandatory requirement was agreed.
    When I finally managed to escape the constraints of my former employer, not unexpectedly there was discussion about who owned this modelling. I had predicted this, so made sure all the work was done in my own time, no records other than a summary left on the employer’s system. So the question arose – how much would I sell it for? Answer was, “1% of the money saved to date in this region?” “Sounds reasonable …”. Hahaha I wish, pity I never got to collect: $13 million x 3 x 1% = $390,000.

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  • #
    Peter Miller

    I live in the UK. as a result of the present government’s insane energy policy, I will shortly be one of the country’s major electricity producers.

    My solar cells are capable of producing around 3.8 kWh at midday on a bright summer’s day. Unfortunately, I only get about 1.0kW/day in winter and a lot less at night.

    I buy back the electricity at about one quarter of the price I sell it for.

    This is greenie lunacy at its best. At least the sun shines a lot in Australia and you are closer to the tropics than the UK.

    So the idea of the carbon tax is to try and make renewable energy competitive with fossil fuels. The problem is they are not even close and not likely to ever be.

    Solar power makes some economic sense for remote communities and that’s where it stops.

    History will judge the current hysteria on ‘global warming’, the same way as we judge the black tulip hysteria of a few centuries ago. Both were asinine and all the wrong type of people made lots of money out of a economy damaging ruse.

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    • #
      John Knowles

      You could cover your PV arrays in bright white LEDs instead of relying upon the reliably unreliable British sunshine. Then you could sell power 24/7/365. You might want to cover them up so that some do-gooder doesn’t spot them and accuse you of ripping-off Society ( which you are sort-of doing already ! ). If you were really keen you could connect the LED arrays up to the off-peak circuit.
      Don’t worry. The whole system is a con so you might as well take back a tiny slice and spend it on doing something useful for the world.

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      • #
        Peter Miller

        John

        In theory you are right, but unfortunately all solar cells are only about 20% efficient in converting light to power. There is also energy loss through heat. So I could produce a steady flow of electricity but only at a loss.

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      • #
        Mark D.

        Much easier to obtain a super quiet gas (petrol) generator (see Honda) and build an underground box to hide and further silence it.

        Be careful of “smart” meters however…..

        I happen to have a 1950′s vintage stationary 3Kw genset rigged to burn natural gas. Its twin cylinder 4 stroke engine has a 6 liter oil sump. If the US ever gets as stupid about paying $$$ for solar grid tied electrons, I’ll have a little gold mine purring in the basement of my house. I even have a three story brick chimney to push the fumes out. Perfect for those long dark nights and cloudy days :)

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  • #
    Dennis

    Can someone explain how home solar systems can feed back into the grid, isn’t that like trying to feed water into the water mains?

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The DC output from your solar panels goes through an inverter, which turns it into AC at a suitable voltage and current to match the electricity on the grid.

      The inverter has to be connected to the grid to work, to ‘know’ what voltage, amperage and phase is usable. Hence when there is a blackout, the inverter shuts down and you don’t get any power from the solar panels. There are (very expensive) arrangements whereby you can divert the output to a storage system, so you still have power. Or you can disconnect the solar output from the mains and run a standalone system, as Martin Clark wants to do. He will find difficulties in feeding it back into his normal system.

      The regular supply is boosted in voltage to allow for losses in the lines to the last breakdown transformer. The voltage drops more on the way to your house. The solar setup output is higher in voltage than the incoming electricity, so like water it flows to the lower level. The lower level would be your house if you are using electricity, otherwise the neighbourhood transformer. The new meter installed measures the amount of electricity exported to that transformer. Thus your “feed-in tariff” only applies to the excess over what you use.

      Note also, that your “feed-in” electricity will be used around your neighbourhood, but don’t tell any neighbours without solar that, as they will blame you for the recent price rises.

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      • #
        Dennis

        Thank you Graeme.

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      • #
        mullumhillbilly

        Thanks Graeme. I think that supports two propositions.
        1. Solar domestic PVs reduce the need for poles and wires, the so called gold plating that has driven most of the electricity price rises in NSW.
        2. SDPVs reduce the need to ramp up central generator power output in the middle of the day, the peak period of demand ( cf Tony from Oz articles elsewhere on this blog), thus conserving coal resources for future generations needs..
        Provided there is no FIT subsidy, SDPV is a good thing, and doesn’t need to be driven by scary CAGW. When storage gets cheaper, it will be even better.

        00

    • #
      handjive

      .
      Queensland State Government admits electricity grid failing to cope with solar power systems

      Quote: ” Energy Minister Stephen Robertson confirmed new applications for rooftop solar systems were being rejected in areas where Queensland’s high uptake threatened the safety and reliability of its network.

      Energex said the state’s electricity network since the 1950s had been designed to deliver power from the station to the home and the voltage now heading “the other way” was causing a huge dilemma. “

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    • #
      Joe V.

      If Alternating Current (AC) is flowing alternately backwards and forwards all the time, how does it ever get anywhere ? /8-)

      20

      • #
        Andrew McRae

        And doesn’t that mean that electrons that you owned on your side of the wall socket get sucked out of the wall socket by the power company, only to be returned 1/50th second later? So does that mean, hypothetically ;) that you could charge the power company rent on that electron for as long as you don’t have it… :D

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      • #
        John Knowles

        If the power-lines were little pipes of water the active (often red) would be alternately blowing and sucking X50/second. The neutral pipe would be exactly that,- no flow unless there’s something to mop up. The motor in your fridge is designed to sort of turn itself arse about X50/sec so that it utilises both the suck and the blow energy. The water/electron flow doesn’t really go anywhere until it is released through an appliance.
        TonyfromOz might be the one to give a proper explanation.

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        • #

          Sorry, I missed this, and now it’s probably not going to be referenced by very many readers, which is OK, because the theory raises more questions than I could ever begin to answer.

          AC, alternating current flow, 50Hz (cycles per second) The current flows in one direction for one fiftieth of a second, and then back the other way for a fiftieth of a second, in sinusoidal form.

          So then, anyone hazard a guess as to how far that electron gets sucked back up the wire before it gets blown back the other way, using the terminology of the earlier commenter Andrew.

          Hmm let’s see now.

          In that one fiftieth of a second, that electron travels a zillionth of a zillionth of a zillionth of a millimetre, from one atom to the next atom which also loses an electron to the next atom etc etc etc. This flow of electrons is the current flow.

          However, the current flows at the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second, so in effect, in that one fiftieth of a second the current flows one way for a distance of 3720 miles and then in the next fiftieth of a second, back that 3720 miles.

          Now, reading that, some may think you could theoretically have a large power plant in say Broome, roll the power down to Perth, across the Nullarbor, down to Melbourne, follow the Eastern sea board all the way up to Cape York and run the jug when you want a coffee from power being generated in Broome.

          Untrue, because of losses. There would be nothing left long before it even reached Perth.

          See how theory is fine, but it never works like that. So, just thinking on that, isn’t it somewhat analogous to some other theories that, umm, may spring to mind.

          Tony.

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    Pretend you are a small business. (or a medium or even large one at that)

    You have to purchase a product at wholesale, and then you mark it up to cover your costs and a small profit maybe.

    So then, tell me, as the owner of that business, would you source a product that costs you more than double what you can sell it for at retail. True, you could pay that huge price, mark it up for your costs and profit, and then retail it.

    How many people would actually buy that product knowing that the same business next door is selling exactly the same product for less than half your price, and they are still making a handy profit from it.

    That is the FIT (Feed In Tariff)

    Power Retailers, (the companies you pay your power bill to) are in that boat.

    They have to buy the excess power generated by these rooftop systems, that pitiful amount which is left after what the home actually uses. The Government actually legislates to force those Companies to buy that excess.

    Because of that, those power retailers then have to spread that out by increasing the cost of the electricity they then sell to all consumers, in all three sectors, Residential, Commerce and Industry.

    So, these rooftop systems have contributed towards raising the price of electricity for us all.

    So, let’s look at those retailers. They can sell power at retail to (Residential) consumers at around 25 cents per KWH. They are now forced to buy that excess power for 44 cents per KWH, some even more than that, but let’s just go with that 44 cents, electrical power that they can then only retail at 25 cents per KWH.

    That 44 cents per KWH equates to $440 per MWH.

    As little as 5 years ago, before the CO2 Tax, and other methods they are using to raise the price of what was always cheap power, Coal fired power was sold to those retailers for $30 per KWH. Nothing has changed now. Those large scale generating entities still generate the same amount of power at the same price. Then they add on what the CO2 tax impost is and then they sell it to the retailers who then onsell it for consumption.

    Coal fired power. Actual cost of Generation before add ons $30/MWH or 3 cents per KWH

    Rooftop Solar. $440/MWH or 44 cents per KWH.

    If rooftop solar power was made to compete on a level playing field, how many rooftop systems would actually be sold.

    It’s not a Climate Change saving choice made by those who can actually afford to buy these systems.

    It’s a financial choice, and I could paraphrase Mark Knopfler by saying Money For Nothing. And really, it is exactly that. Your money because we all pay for it, and nothing, the amount of power actually returned to the grids, power that is not relied upon to be there if and when power is actually needed.

    Now I want you all to think back across your whole lives.

    When was the last time you lived in the one home for 25 years?

    That’s what you are locked into if you purchase one of these rooftop systems. You can’t take them with you when you go.

    It’s an absolute joke, on so many levels, and if it wasn’t costing us all so damned much, all you could do would be to laugh.

    Tony.

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      Dennis

      Thank you for that information Tony.

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      Wally

      Buying power at inflated prices is what has forced the retailers to lift power prices for us all.

      It’s also a know problem, which is why here in South Australia the FIT was dropped to something like 16 or 18 cents / kW-hr, and for new installs as of next year it drops to 0.

      That’s also one of the reasons I waiting until the FIT dropped before putting in my solar system (see later post further down).

      You can cut your power bill using solar. But relying on a high FIT to do so is immoral.

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    gai

    Could it be true?
    would socialists commit economic vandalism on purpose?
    Can anyone explain why these people exist?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes they will commit economic vandalism on purpose.

    It was agreed upon almost 100 years ago according to Pascal Lamy, World Trade Organization Director General when it was decided to get rid of National Sovereignty and replace it with an international bureaucracy. The EU was the trial run. Lamy, Clinton, Blair and others are all ‘Third Way’ adherents or Fabians.

    The Fabian Window now installed in the London School of Economics in April of 2006 was designed by George Bernard Shaw. It depicts Sidney Webb and Shaw striking the Earth with hammers to “REMOULD IT NEARER TO THE HEART’S DESIRE,” Just above the world is a wolf in sheep’s clothing in the Fabian crest above the globe.

    This is exactly what is being done. Smashing the present civilization and replace it with a world wide European union type organization.

    If you want to know what is planned read The Real Bernard Shaw and consider the Webb’s support for Eugenics and the killing off of “Useless eaters” Then think of the thousands of elderly in the UK dying from fuel poverty and if that isn’t enough the elderly and young babes and children killed off in hospitals using the ‘Liverpool Care Pathway’

    Eugenics: the skeleton that rattles loudest in the left’s closet

    A quarter of Brits are living in fuel poverty as energy bills rocket

    Fuel poverty deaths three times higher than government estimates

    This is what really makes me sick

    http://vineoflife.net/2012/11/29/now-sick-babies-go-on-death-pathway-doctors-haunting-testimony-reveals-how-children-are-put-on-end-of-life-plan/

    …Sick children are being discharged from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death pathways’.

    Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill adults.

    But the Mail can reveal the practice of withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies….

    One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone.

    Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician revealed the process can take an average of ten days during which a baby becomes ‘smaller and shrunken’.

    The LCP – on which 130,000 elderly and terminally-ill adult patients die each year

    THESE people, baby killers, are the ones who dare claim moral high ground???? /snarl

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      handjive

      Amazingly, the Fabian Window contains an image—just above the fellows hammering the world—that is as clear as it is foreboding: the socialists are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
      I often wonder why they did not choose a less ignoble animal.
      What about a courageous lion? A proud bull? A vigilant hawk? A noble horse?

      No, they chose a wolf—a cunning, ravenous, devious, and scary critter—and cloaked him in a sheepskin. Why?
      Because, as Lenin taught, if you want to operate in a capitalist society you must disguise yourself.
      Put the sheepskin on and you can easily mingle with the flock.
      Until you decide to shed the skin and consume the flock.

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      Dennis

      Gai for many decades when I have mentioned the Fabian Society objectives to people they seem to not want to know about it. When the infiltration of the UN was commencing the agendas were not suspected of being more than the marketing hyperbole and puffery. Australian attorney general Clive “Doc” Evatt was a contributor of Fabian socialist engineering when the UN was founded, he successfully recommended that as many treaties as possible be created and signed with a long term aim of future governments being able to get around sovereign nation law using the international treaties. As John Howard once pointed out, there is no external law that can be enforced on a sovereign nation unless the government of the day allows it.

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      Yonniestone

      Gai thanks for the elaboration (I forgot the sarc button)
      and you have given me more ammo to use against socialists in arguments, I appreciate it.

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    Bulldust

    O/T but I am sure you guys will love this one:

    Ironically, the country that gave us Kyoto is having to return to coal-fired electricity as it seeks to mothball its non-emitting nuclear power generators:

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/japan-turns-back-to-coalfired-power-plants-20130425-2ihb0.html

    Back to the future, Nippon style.

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      Dennis

      It was a good idea at the time ignoring the inevitability of earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan.

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        ianl8888

        Those phenomena were not ignored during design – the height of the Fukishima tsunami was very badly underestimated

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          Rereke Whakaaro

          In the hills that overlook the coasts of Japan, you come across large flat standing stones, that look a bit like grave stones. The script is quite faint, but to those who can make it out, it says, in Japanese of course, “Do not have building below here”. They are historic tsunami markers.

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            The Black Adder

            Well well well Rereke,
            3000 years of history is pretty compelling!
            Just imagine if they had built 200 wind farms?

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          Andrew McRae

          That crappy little sea wall didn’t help them much either.

          The TEPCO Fukushima plant was built off the stock-standard old GE BWR design which, despite attention to various other adverse possibilities, did not allow for a tsunami swamping the ground floor. Any attempts to mitigate this threat were bolted-on after the fact, such as simply situating the buildings far enough above MSL that it would probably be safe. In the actual event “the Daiichi turbine halls were under some 5 metres of seawater”.
          It was almost literally a 1 in 1000 year event, because the last time a similar magnitude tsunami happened in that same region was 1140 years ago. Not really surprising that they didn’t act quickly.

          Also it wasn’t just a melt-down, it was a melt-through. Through 65cm of foundation concrete. This would have happened even without the hydrogen explosion that blew the roof off.

          That reminds me of a quote from the movie Broken Arrow which could be aptly paraphrased: I’m not sure what scares me more about the word ‘corium‘, the fact that the fuel rods and control rods melted together into one radioactive mass, or the fact it happens so often you actually have a word for it!

          In an odd kind of way, the Fukushima disaster was the best advertising the nuclear power business could get. There’s… what, like… about one hundred of these relatively unsafe old style 1960s reactor designs around the world and not much vision about what to do with them. I read somewhere that about a dozen of them could be reached by a tsunami as big as the 2011 Japan wave. Building new nukes is better than leaving these old ones running and delaying their entombment date way too long.

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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Another factor, that the press has neglected to report, is that Tepco were apparently holding a large number of spent fuel rods in external holding ponds, at Daiichi One. The holding ponds are intended to act as short term storage for rods between their extraction from the reactor and their collection for transportation to a facility where they can be safely processed. They were still there, and accumulating, I understand, because Tepco could not get the necessary Local Government permits to move them elsewhere, because of protests from the local Greens.

            The water in the ponds was recycled and cooled by the same external water pumps that provided cooling water for the main reactor. These of course were swamped and knocked out by the wave, leading to the eventual meltdown, but also allowing the water in the storage ponds to get dangerously close to boiling point.

            The information I got, from the IAEA at the time, was that most of the atmospheric radiation was from the spent rods interacting with seawater.

            Part of that information I received said that the meltdown did not penetrate the concrete containment vessel, but the core did drop into the sump of the vessel, where it may prove challenging to remove.

            Now I have not kept up with the situation, and no longer have the information to hand, but my impression at the time, was that it all worked, more or less, as designed (even though those designs are now way out of date), apart from the fact that the electric water pumps were vulnerable to flooding and the storage ponds were not being used for the purpose intended.

            I guess the real problems will be emerging now, in figuring out how to remove the melted core in a way that is safe.

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              mullumhillbilly

              Given that the biggest risk is a meltdown, and that water is extremely effective in preventing meltdown, can anyone tell me why nuclear reactors couldnt be placed at the bottom of a 100m underground silo? Ie well beyond the depth of water table). If things go all Fuku, then no need for pumps to put cooling water in (instant dump by gravity supply from above ground storage), easier to cap with concrete, and if the meltdown proceeds regardless, it’s already in deep containment.

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      Bruce of Newcastle

      Good news for us Novocastrians, they’ll have to expand the new coal loader. Greenpeace’s collective heads will all explode again. Unfortunately they grow back like Jeebs’ does, which just proves Bob was right.

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    Wally

    I put solar on my house 8 months ago.

    Like Anthony Watts, the high price of power (and in my case, Joolya’s carbon tax) was the last straw.

    Here in Adelaide I’m paying around 30 cents / kW-hr for power (more in the midst of summer).

    The price of solar is such that I could put in a 3kW system for $6000, through AGL or Origin. I paid more for something that’s not butt-ugly. The “subsidy” contribution back from Joolya was naff-all (about $25 / panel, for a total of $400 on a captial outlay of $10K).

    So the government (ie taypayer) subsidy in Australia is now very small – which is fine by me because I found the high subsidies and stupidly high feed-in tariffs to be quite immoral.

    The reason for doing this:

    Purely money. Solar has cut my summer power bill from about $1000 / qtr to about $500, because we have 3 months were we need to run the a/c like crazy. The rest of the year my power bill is cut by about 2/3, typically falling from about $500 / qtr to about $150.

    My annual bills drop from around $2500 to about $950; most of that drop is not from the feed-in (which is now worth LESS than the cost of just buying grid power), its simply because I generate a great deal of whats consumed in the house.

    I get a pay-back time on my investment (assuming $0 from the feed-in) of around 6.5 years. That’s a 15.5% TAX FREE return on investment, which I can’t get anywhere else.

    I’m very well aware that solar is bad for the environment, bad for the power network stability, bad engineering (I’m an engineer!).

    I’ve done it because stupid politics and stupid politicians mean we now have the 2nd or 3rd highest price of electricity in the world, and I no longer care about doing what’s right for the whole system, society, the planet, yada yada, I care about income and my family.

    When looked at in those terms, solar power can make FINANCIAL sense.

    If you do these things, do it for the right reason: saving the planet is feel-good nonsense. Making a business design based on hard financial modelling is just good sense.

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    • #

      Your decision seems to be “rational” in the same sense as Pierre Gosselin’s. Unlike your “success” story, his followups are pretty grim with long delays in getting connected to the grid and poor performance when the sun shines.

      The perversion of market forces by government interference always produces sub-optimal results for everybody except those actually selected by the government to benefit. Beneficiaries aren’t necessarily those advertised.

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        Apoxonbothyourhouses

        Meaningless motherhood statement. We have had a small system for ~ four years and it is based on its proven history / performance that we are adding to it. We have the numbers and have done the checks just as Anthony Watts has done. If you choose not to do the same that’s your democratic right but please don’t bag based on rhetoric.

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          Anthony Watts’ experience is based on having to pay almost a dollar per kWh to his electricity supplier; priced that way because of government interference.

          In Australia, the break-even cost for generation using a small diesel generator is below 70c/kWh. (~8kVA)

          If RET and carbon “pricing” are dropped, Western Australia’s Perth metro consumers’ rate should drop from the current 25c/kWh to 16c/kWh.

          Can you do the maths on the RoI when paying full price for the solar equipment and installation if electricity can be bought off the grid at 16c/kWh? Will the “investment” in PV solar ever pay for itself before the PV system has degraded to end of life?

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      Apoxonbothyourhouses

      Just so Wally just so. You and I are not responsible for the absence of a financially sensible power generation policy. Power should be seen in the same context as clean water; namely readily available at all times and affordable to pensioners and industry alike.

      This may seem a repetition from my earlier blog but the governments of China, India, Germany and France (nuclear) all recogise this and have formulated their policies accordingly. No so in Oz where we wander from nonsense to stupidity resulting in job losses and pensioners unable to afford to keep warm / cool.

      Had there been a sensible rational policy then our solar panels would never have been necessary. So until that happens and / or Jo agrees to pay my power bills don’t blame us if we play by the rules imposed on us and look after our best interests. The cost of these systems has dropped dramatically such that at power costing 33 cents per kw/hr our payback on a 5 kw/hr system is about 3.3 years.

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        How to Ruin an Electric Grid — Germany Shows Us How

        There is a substantial cost with providing a substantial capacity for infeed.

        Many areas are “saturated”. I’m seeing almost 260VAC at my power outlets here on a sunny day; which suddenly drops to 230V as the cloud cover closes quickly. I suspect that infeeds are “blocked” if the grid voltage reaches a nominal level; as which point all the infeed devices would be competing with each other to feed more power into the grid as soon as the voltage drops.

        The electricity distribution grid was built on the premise that power would flow from a few power stations to all consumers. It costs a lot of money to upgrade the grid to handle sporadic nett generation in suburban areas. Hence the “gold plating” of the grid that is taking place and necessarily; the escalating electricity prices.

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      Apoxonbothyourhouses

      G’day Wally. For all those whinging about our self preservation approach consider the following and why we consider ourselves being screwed by experts.
      South Korea has just about no natural resources other than a well educated hard working population. They have just about zip by way of gas, oil and coal but (industrial) miracle of miracles their cost of power is less than 10 cents per kw/hr; yes folks less than one third what we pay. Now do you believe we are being screwed?
      No bloody wonder that our industries are at a competitive disadvantage. Then stir in defeatist talk by Nasser (ex Ford flop) about the demise of our car industry even though every fifth car is a Korean made Hyundai. Go figure.

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        Here in Mesa Az. we have rates around $.08/kwh during the winter and due to additional demand it rises up to around 9 cents/kwh in mid summer.

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        Wally

        I could not agree more.

        There IS a place for tariff barriers and industry protection policy.

        There will one day come a time when Australia can’t rely on imports of industrial goods or cars (think conflict, it’s not impossible).

        With no industrial knowledge or manufacturing base left, we’re right royally screwed.

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    pat

    links to the CCA paper:

    25 April: Ecogeneration: Climate Change Authority seeks comment on review of emissions targets
    The Climate Change Authority has commenced work on the first review of Australia’s emissions reduction targets, known as the Caps and Targets Review…
    The Caps and Targets Review will address two broad topics:
    •Australia’s progress towards it medium and long term emissions reduction targets
    •Australia’s emissions reduction goals…
    LINK: The Authority has released an Issues Paper that outlines the Authority’s proposed approach to the Review, and identifies what it sees as the main issues…
    Main issues include:
    •The accumulating body of science underpinning concerns about climate change
    •The extent and nature of ongoing international arrangements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    •How any global efforts to reduce emissions might be shared among nations
    •The economic and social implications for Australia of different targets for reducing emissions.
    The Authority is required to report to the Federal Government by 28 February 2014. Its final report will include recommendations on a national emissions reduction target for 2020, and caps (that is, limits on emissions) for the first five years of trading under the carbon pricing mechanism.
    Submissions relevant to the various issues to be covered in the Authority’s Review should be lodged by 30 May 2013.
    http://ecogeneration.com.au/news/climate_change_authority_seeks_comment_on_review_of_emissions_targets/081154/

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    pat

    read if u want to know Tristan’s convoluted reasonings:

    26 April: Business Spectator: Tristan Edis: Why business wants the carbon price to stay
    Last week I argued that with the collapse in the price of European carbon allowances, the big end of town in business would prefer the Coalition did not rescind the carbon price.
    The Australian Industry Group has already come out publicly stating that it believes the carbon price should stay, but move immediately to international trading.
    Tony Shepherd, the chair of the BCA, has been strident in his criticism of the current fixed $23 carbon price, but when asked about whether he’d like the emissions trading scheme abolished, stated the BCA membership want a market-based mechanism. In other words, they want an ETS.
    And on the front page of the Australian Financial Review on Wednesday was a story indicating that the energy suppliers are also extremely nervous about the Coalition’s Direct Action plan…
    Here’s four good reasons why.
    1. The carbon price won’t actually cost them that much money
    2. Direct Action is an unknown quantity
    3. Direct Action will struggle to last and who knows what might replace it/supplement it
    4. Direct action fails to resolve long-term investment uncertainty…
    If the Coalition were to miraculously return to its Howard government 2007 position in favour of an ETS it would not still leave the uncertainty that comes with linking our scheme to international carbon markets.
    But it would at least mean we would have a bi-partisan approach on the main mechanism for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. This would represent a major improvement in the investment environment for the power sector in particular, as well as other carbon and energy intensive areas of the economy.
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/4/26/policy-politics/why-business-wants-carbon-price-stay

    26 April: ABC: Barrie Cassidy: Laying down the cudgels and debating the policy
    Simultaneously, the vote in the European parliament on a carbon price brought fresh attention to the Gillard Government’s inflated price, and introduced some nagging doubts about whether they got the balance right.
    On the other hand, the renewed debate led to some business leaders saying they now preferred the locked-in lower European price to the Coalition’s direct action alternative…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-26/cassidy-laying-down-the-cudgels-and-debating-the-policy/4650944

    26 April: Austn Financial Review: Coalition in denial over support for price on carbon
    Letter: …Tony Abbott must give up using the price on carbon to incite the misinformed ire of mainstream Australia and return the Coalition’s policy to the Howard years in favour of carbon trading or, yes, a carbon tax.
    Ngaire McGaw
    Seventeen Mile Rocks, Qld
    http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/coalition_in_denial_over_support_NG8tJIqeO53Vx0PsX8MFwI

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    pat

    Ngaire McGaw, whose letter was published in AFR:

    LinkedIn: Ngaire McGaw
    Ngaire McGaw is Principal of Getting to Sustainability, a small consultancy and referral agency. She has lead award-winning sustainability projects at the household, community and organisational level since 2003. Ngaire has more than two decades of experience in project management and policy work in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors…
    Qualifications:
    Ngaire holds the qualification of Green Star Associate and has completed studies in carbon reporting and trading law, energy auditing, sustainable transport, communications, public policy, behaviour change and management. Ngaire holds a Masters in Health Science with double majors in Health Services Management and Health Promotion. Ngaire is half way through postgraduate studies in Carbon Management at Bond University and is studying a Masters in Sustainability Science at USQ…
    2010-2012: Qld Branch founder
    Beyond Zero Emissions…
    http://au.linkedin.com/pub/ngaire-mcgaw-mhsc-ba/11/422/737

    comments at “The Conversation”:

    The Conversation: Ngaire McGaw
    https://theconversation.com/profiles/ngaire-mcgaw-10073/activities

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    pat

    26 April: ABC: Sharnie Kim: Rainforest tower to provide carbon storage data
    James Cook University researchers say data from a new rainforest research tower in far north Queensland will have important implications for calculating Australia’s carbon budget.
    It has started construction on a galvanised steel tower in a 25-hectare rainforest research plot at Robson Creek on the Atherton Tablelands, west of Cairns.
    Associate professor Mark Liddell says solar panels will help power instruments used to measure elements such as water, radiation and carbon dioxide.
    “We’re looking at the exchange of carbon, carbon dioxide and water, between the ecosystem and the atmosphere,” he said.
    “People want to know how much our ecosystem is actually storing carbon or losing carbon.
    “They reduce the error in this estimate of Australia’s carbon budget very substantially by putting in the information from these flux towers.”
    He says it will cost more than $200,000 to build the tower.
    “It’s pretty big – it’s got to withstand a cyclone, so at the base it’s seven by seven [metres],” he said…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-26/rainforest-tower-to-provide-carbon-storage-data/4652294?section=qld

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    pat

    even the recession isn’t enough!

    25 April: Guardian: Ireland set to miss EU carbon target
    by Conor McGlone for Edie, part of the Guardian Environment Network
    Lynott claimed that recent reductions in Ireland’s greenhouse gases have been a direct result of the current economic recession and the economic outlook for the future.
    “Ireland cannot rely on recession to meet our long-term carbon-reduction requirements and needs to develop as a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy,” she said…
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/25/ireland-miss-eu-carbon-target

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    Geoff Sherrington

    This is approximate and from memory,
    but we seem to have a cost structure for electricity burdened by many bodies each taking a cut tahat compounds into a huge overhead. It would be simpler if a power station ran lines to your home and sent you a montly bill. Instead, we seem to have this pyramid that goes a little like:
    Federal Government
    Coag
    Energy Regulator
    Energy Ombudsman
    Power station owner
    Distributor
    Retailer
    Services supporters e.g. smart meter installers
    Meter readers
    Billing companies
    Repair & maintenance contractors.

    One practical problem is that most of these think that they can question a user, impose fines for breaches, alter the electricity supply to a home by fiddling smart meters, turn of power & let refrigerated food rot without agreeing to compensate the owner, turning power off to a location where medical devices are in use, etc.

    Of course, another practical problem is, as pointed out, that 90% of the populace subsidises 10% of carpet baggers with funds that are not proven to be efficient or a good use for the scarce investment dollar.

    Do you notice how much of the above is not covered by legislation? Much seems to rely upon bluff by authorities, which is a clear sign of a failing government.

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      Geoff has it just about right here with respect to the middlemen involved in electrical power distribution.

      You’ll hear that some forms of renewable power are getting to the stage where you read that they are almost at the stage where they are becoming cheaper than traditional forms of power generation, and for heaven’s sake, don’t ever believe a single word of it. It’s all a theoretical exercise written down on paper, and the greenie acolytes swarm all over it and gloat that renewables are cheaper than those traditional power generation methods.

      The only way they can make renewable seem cheap is by the reverse principle. Make the other form of power seem so expensive that now it looks like it can compete.

      It’s a paper exercise for ….. NEW plants, and has all the added on new extras to inflate the price of especially, coal fired power.

      Note I said NEW plants.

      Existing plants have always sold their power cheaply.

      Why?

      Because they can generate humungous amounts of power on a 24/7/365 basis, and have an average 50 year lifespan to recover all their costs.

      For existing coal fired power, the average cost for the electricity they generate and then sell to the retailers is around $30 per MWH which translates to 3 cents per KWH.

      With Nuclear power it’s even lower. A plant in California, the Diablo Canyon Plant at San Luis Obispo sells its power into the California grid to a price that equates to 1.6 cents per KWH, and existing Nukes in the U.S. are all around that low price.

      Now with such low prices for Nuclear Power and that 3 cents per KWH for coal fired power, you can see why retail electricity is so cheap in the U.S. averaging 11.6 cents per KWH, and that’s retail for residential, as Commerce and Industry are even cheaper again at retail. Some U.S. States pay as low as 7 cents per KWH at the Residential level, which is less than one third what we pay here in Oz on average.

      All these new costings are based around a theoretical calculation for new plants, because no matter what they do, any renewable could never compete with existing plants, no matter how many add ons they add on to make it more expensive.

      And Rooftop solar power makes around as much power for supply back to grids as what is produced by perhaps one tiny coal fired or natural gas fired plant, and then after Sunset, nothing.

      And because that rooftop solar is providing power for the residence during the day, does that mean those older plants generate less.

      Nup.

      It’s so little, grids don’t even register it, and because power HAS to be at the grid, not one of those daytime power providers, in the main Natural Gas fired plants are still used as they always have been, and always will be.

      Rooftop solar power adds nothing, and saves nothing.

      Tony.

      70

    • #
      Wally

      Well, thats exactly what we once had when there was a state government owned power monopoly (eg in South Australia).

      Their mandate was to make power for the social good, cover their costs so as to not be a net drain on state finances, but making a profit was not needed.

      When it was all privatised, I pointed out then the bleedin obvious:

      Vertically integrated utility (coal in, electricty out, and same company bills you) wants to make 10% return. Result: MARGIN = 10%.

      Split it up into generation, high voltage distribution, low voltage distribution, retailer. Each wants to make 10% margin. Cost of coal going in is unchanged… so what happens:

      Price charged = (((input * 1.1) * 1.1) * 1.1) * 1.1

      Ie we have 4 lots of cumulative margins now, that actually leads to a price rise factor of 1.46…. ie a total price rise of 46%.

      When I pointed this out, years ago, I was treated to looks of disbelief: “but the private sector will do it all better, prices will go down”. BS I called, and sure enough prices rose within 2 years – by around 30%, and have been going up, and up, and up ever since.

      Vertical integration in many businesses means that you have choices of where to take margin. It’s not a common business approach now because of all the “focus on core” stuff, but it has its place.

      70

      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        Wally,
        That’s much the same point that I was making, but the difference is that the private structure of layer on layer has been mandated by government bodies like the Energy Regulator. This is supposed to be to induce competition, so in the NEM we have about 40 major power distributors and 40 retailers. You can become a retailer more or less by asking. Then you can become an optimiser of retail and make loud promises on the telly that you will search around and find the cheapest retailer. The problem is that the retailers have very little differentiation, without any real natural advantage to one or another, so such optimising schemes are more like scams.
        The problem is not privatisation and profit per se. If the whole thing was nationalised, there would still need to be people on the government payroll whose salaries could be equated to private sector profit. It very often takes more public enterprise people to do the same job as private enterprise.
        Then, of course, there is a tax on profits for private enterprise.

        People tend to forget this when comparing private versus public. Public should be restricted to those things intended by the Constitution, where it is clear that a coordinated, collective effort is better than a piecemeal one. Defence forces are of course a prime example. The people want it this way for defence, but I don’t think that many people want big government to do many more things without asking the people what they want.

        Thus, we have GOAG where the Feds and States get together and work out decisions that few of us have ever participated in. Did you know that the smart meter concept was discussed at clause 14.1(a) of the COAG Order in Council 2007? Had you heard of smart meters in 2007? Did anyone ask if you wanted one?

        10

      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        Correction: Typo – about 4 major power distributors and 40 retailers. Also COAG, not GOAG or even GIGO.
        Reminds me of the acronym GHOGM – Chaps Holidaying Overseas on Government Money.

        10

  • #
    Luddite Engineering Inc.

    Coming soon to the roads – a brand new paradigm in low carbon transportation. This great advance in automotive engineering features a car with no internal combustion engine, powered entirely by a revolutionary state of the art organic power core.

    Send $5 and a postage paid envelope to “Clean Green Machine” PO Box 1756, CA 91020 and we will send you plans to build your very own clean green machine. Ox and cart sold separately.

    70

    • #
      Byron

      You could get into a lot of trouble with that idea ,

      1)Various regulatory groups and protestors will be onto You about the methane emissions from the Ox as it`s an article of faith with Them that it`s only the domestic animals that emit methane , for example when was the last time You saw EPA investigator issuing an infringement notice to a moose`s bum or “cool the globe” types picketing a whale`s arse ?

      2)PETA will be on to You for indenturing an animal into a lifetime of slavery when it should be running wild and free where it can die a gentle , peaceful death from starvation ,thirst , disease and being eaten while still kicking by apex predators

      3)The Wilderness Society will be having serious words about the use of old growth timber in the cart , Old growth being greenspeak for anything big enough to be useful

      80

    • #
      mullumhillbilly

      Then use Plan B , the Fred Flintstone car

      30

  • #

    An illustration of the uselessness of PV can be seen in the “performance” over a longer period such as this 3-month chart from Germany (via EIKE). The yellow blips in supply are PV solar contribution (nameplate capacity 32,000 MW) to the demand (red). (NB: Germans use the dot as a thousands separator so e.g. “20.000″ means twenty-thousand.)

    Driving around the “burbs” in Australia shows many, if not most PV solar systems not installed to yield maximum total energy, nor peak energy in winter. The fudge-factors used by bureaucrats don’t take those into account. They only count the panels on the roof. Not the actual orientation. As Australia (AFAICT, mostly) doesn’t have total in-feed metering but differential, there is no way to audit fulfillment of the notional energy supply contracted via RECS. It is simply assumed that each system will generate at least the amount determined by the rated capacity of the panels; adjusted for location.

    i.e. There is no way to measure the “success” or “failure” of the policy.

    My guesstimate is that as much a third of RECs won’t be “filled” by energy generated before the respective systems become FUBER.

    40

  • #

    ONE MILLION ROOFTOP SOLAR INSTALLATIONS

    Man, I really am impressed.

    Let’s see now, and here I’ll add some perspective.

    Nearly all of those systems are the smaller (read cheaper) ones, so the average for all of them works out to around 3KW, so one million at 3 KW gives us 3,000MW.

    Man, that’s huge, almost 25% bigger than Bayswater.

    We’re saved.

    Hang on a minute.

    They’re quoted at being rated at 35%, so that’s for half a day when the Sun shines, so that’s around 12% on average extrapolated out over the year, and hey, here I’m going on best case scenario to make them look good.

    The residence itself consumes two thirds of that generated power during daylight, and the rest is fed back to the grids.

    That’s around 40GWH fed back to the grids each year, which is, umm, the same power provided by Bayswater in, let’s see now, 15 hours, with all 4 generators running.

    See, we really are saved.

    Tony.

    121

    • #
      Mattb

      Tony don’t be cheeky, they may be not particularly useful but you unfairly discount that which is not fed back but is consumed in the home.

      It’s a bit like making fun of a Collingwood fan because they only have 3 teeth, when in fact they have 6.

      42

      • #

        Yeah Mattb,

        I suppose you’re right, but hey, even I thought you could do the Maths here.

        One third of the power is fed back to the grid, and two thirds consumed by the residence, so, umm, then the total power generated by ….. ONE MILLION ROOFTOP SOLAR POWER INSTALLATIONS is the same as generated by Bayswater in 45 hours.

        There, that’s better.

        Tony.

        111

        • #
          Mattb

          bear with me here.

          Can you ploise exploin how an array of solar panels with nameplate capacity 25% greater than bayswater, and which contributes about 12% of nameplate capacity averaged over the year (your figure), only contributes 2 days worth of Bayswater’s power?

          2 days is only half a percent.

          So yeah I don’t get your maths.

          38

          • #
            Mattb

            3000MW @ 12% for 24 hours a day for 365 days a year
            =
            3,154 GWh

            37

            • #
              Mattb

              Tony I think you’ve missed multiplying by 24 hours in a day.

              48

              • #
                Mattb

                Oi quit it with the thumbs down. You’ll look pretty stupid when Tony thanks me for recognising the numbers make no sense, and working through it and figuring out which step he missed out.

                His point still stands though. You get about 45 days of Bayswater’s annual electricity output for a lot of cost.

                37

              • #

                Ah, yes, MattB is perfectly correct here, I did forget that factor of 24 in the Maths, so I do apologise for that, and thanks for finding that Matt.

                It is 45 days, and Matt, thanks also for mentioning the ‘lot of cost’ in your last sentence here, because this is also an important factor.

                The cost for that amount of power fed back to the grid over the year, one third of the generated power, which the retailers have to purchase comes in at (using just the FIT price of 44 cents per KWH figure) $463 Million.

                The same retailing entity can purchase that same amount of power from Bayswater for $63 Million, after adding on the CO2 Tax.

                Tony.

                Post Script. I’ve been away all afternoon, shopping and spending 2 hours with our daughter and her family, so I’ve only just got back and seen this, and replied virtually immediately, so Matt, thanks, and I wasn’t just ignoring you.

                91

              • #
                Dave

                .
                So we are paying over 7 times the price for these solar powered households to reduce CO2. But I thought the Coal Powered Generating Companies paid CO2 TAx at $25 per tonne?

                I think you said each tonne of coal is about produces 2.86 tonnes of CO2 which equals about $75.00.

                Isn’t this double dipping when we are paying these Solar Panel households an inflated price as Manicbeancounter said above:
                The productivity commission estimated the RET scheme “abated” CO2 emissions at a cost of $177–$497/ton

                So in theory we are paying around $250 per tonne of CO2 (average) to save the planet. For all those with solar panels please beware, I AM PAYING FOR YOUR ELECTRICITY in a big way.

                Why not you ask? You reply – “Everyone else is doing it, I’d be a fool if I didn’t do it also.”

                But don’t talk about justifying your decision because you are WRONG.

                You are supporting the collective Green Energy Sustainable CAGW wimps that are profiting from this industry. If you want to put solar panels on your roof and collect 7.3 plus times the rate, then admit it is greed only, nothing else.

                The main reason for this RET is to reduce CO2 isn’t it? You install solar panels and reap money off others, how does that help the bloodIy world when you claim CO2 doesn’t play a role?

                So just think of all the people collectively you have affected through TOXIC waste in China due to your purchase of panels.

                The GREENIE solar panels users are worse, because their blind and deaf belief is going to bite back one day and they ARE the instigators of this absolute crime.

                31

              • #
                Mattb

                no probs Tony. it is also reasonable you have a life:)

                30

    • #
      Leo G

      Hang on for another minute TonyfromOz.
      The sun may shine for half the day, but solar PVs don’t output for all the time that the sun shines.
      Typically PVs only generate when the solar irradiance (radiant flux density) exceeds 1000W/m². The Bureau of Meteorology reports that Sydney has an average of 6.79 hours per day of bright sunshine, defined by the cumulative period that the irradiance exceeds a value of 120W/m². The average solar irradiance (radiant flux) for Sydney is 4.54 kWh/m²/day with the monthly average varying from 2.36 to 6.72 kWh/m²/day.
      This implies that on average over the year PV systems in Sydney will generate for at most 4½ hours/day. A realistic figure would be 3½ hours/day.

      20

      • #

        Leo G,

        yes, you are actually close to the mark.

        A production rate at that last quoted figure of 3.5 hours gives these rooftop panels a CF of 14%.

        Their actual CF on an overall Australian average is that figure of 12% I quoted in comment 33.

        Tony.

        20

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      ONE MILLION ROOFTOP SOLAR INSTALLATIONS

      I never had solar electricity. But I fell for solar water heating (twice). Same sad story — I never got back what I paid for the system, even after counting the tax rebate. If inflation had not allowed me to refinance and pay off those loans I would have lost even more money.

      In the end the removal of those panels and the roof repair cost me nearly as much as the original installation.

      Don’t let anyone tell you that solar is a good deal. It makes no sense technically. It makes no sense financially. It makes no sense politically either. It’s a house of cards that a simple change in the political winds is going to blow away.

      PS:

      When my first system didn’t perform I was stupid enough to go out and look for a more efficient one. And it really was more efficient. But the sun just didn’t shine enough. End of story. And the pumps froze up repeatedly. The pipes clogged with rust. A masterful engineering job if I ever saw one. And there’s the real problem. All this stuff is being put together to take advantage of the supposedly free energy or the free money. Build it; sell it; forget it. How can it succeed based on the wrong incentive?

      40

  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    It’s the same in the UK, except rooftop solar have been subsidised at up to 10 times the cost of coal. Of course the sun doesn’t shine much so capacity factors are really low, ~6%. Lunacy in action from successive lunatic politicians.

    80

    • #
      John Knowles

      Do many of your pollies hold science qualifications? Did any of them do maths past O level? Here in Aus they seem to be a bunch of lawyers, union reps and a retired rock singer and other people who like the sound of their own voices but have who have precious little experience in running a business.
      The senior civil service in both our nations deserve ridicule as they are supposed to be elevated to seniority on merit. What happened ?

      20

  • #

    [...] One million useless solar panels [...]

    10

  • #
    Keith L

    Thatcher only enabled people to buy their houses.
    Gillard allows people to buy whole Solar Systems.

    100

    • #
      Mattb

      I lolled

      33

    • #
      Joe V.

      Good one Keith. I took a while to get it though, in the Astronomical sense. Not even the Astronomical costs involved , mor the Astronomically stupid waste of money had me thinking that way.

      50

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Having a solar panel industry is the same as having two work crews on shovels.

        The first crew digs the hole and the second one comes in later to fill it back up.

        In both cases there is lots of work but several other factors in common.

        1. There is nothing to show for it all at the end.

        2. Money that could have been spent usefully is lost and cannot be used for research.

        3. Everyone is busy and running around like blue assed flies but no progress is made.

        The cost of solar panel votes is astronomical.

        KK

        70

  • #
    Dave

    Not only is it subsidised by us,

    It is also ones of the most toxic manufacturing processes around. And the majority of the panels are made in China, and the pollution form these factories are killing people, rivers, farm land, plants and animals. Solar was introduced to prevent filthy CO2 from killing the globe from overheating, but these Green sustainable energy guru GAIA’s don’t look at the pollution that’s occurring right now and killing people.

    The Green GAIA’s don’t count the following as pollution:

    1. arsenides, cadmium and lead
    2. sulphur hexaflouride
    3. thiourea (carcinogen)
    4. selenium hydride (highly toxic)
    5. nitrogen trifluoride (
    6. indium phosphide (known carcinogen)
    7. hydrofluoric acid (inhalation or skin contact can be fatal)
    8. hexafluoroethane
    9. germane (extremely toxic)
    10.chromium VI (known carcinogen and toxin)
    11.carbon tetrachloride (carcinogen)
    11.arsine (carcinogen with high toxicity)
    12.Silicon Tetrachloride.

    This is only a few of the waste products and chemicals used in the manufacture of PV products for solar panels. Over 4 tonnes of waste is generated to obtain 1 tonne of Photo Voltaic silicon material (The majority of panels)

    Will the Greens pay for this mess, the deaths of humans, the destruction of the environment?

    No! They won’t because their little dream GAIA isn’t affected in their own back yard.

    Here’s real pollution for you GREEN polluters.

    100

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Yes that is all quite correct … but …

      There is a Zen question, “If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there to hear it fall, does it still make a sound?”

      The Green equivalent is, “If pollution occurs, but it is elsewhere than urban communities in the West, is it still damaging to the environment?”

      90

      • #
        Dave

        Rereke,

        So true, DEATH is always silent in the EARS of the GREENS.

        But when they open their eyes – they will SEE!

        The photo was taken by Zhao Yan of Greenpeace, yet none of this makes it into Adam Brandtlind nor Ms. Christine Milnes account of the GREEN new world.

        These Greens will pay for the people destroyed by their fantasies.

        60

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Dave, their all nasty but Cadmium I know from working with metals is really deadly.
      Years ago inhaling Cadmium fumes from welding/heating gave symptoms of Zinc poisoning or “Zinc chills” so it wasn’t considered too bad, just avoided.
      Years down the track it was connected to more and more illnesses many fatal (respiratory failure, kidney failure, cancer) and now is considered by many as bad as Asbestos.
      Funny how many people don’t know about this considering Cadmium is in Batteries, metal alloys, color pigments, even in cigarettes!

      40

      • #
        Dave

        .
        I hadn’t known about this part (welding etc) but is definitely one that will come out in the future.

        The GREENS will pay in the courts like James Hardie did with Asbestos in the not too distant future. The Greens current drive of policies that result in creating toxic pollution will be no different to the current laws on Bikie gangs earning money from criminal activity, or James Hardie poisoning people. CO2 will come out of all this as simply a common gas that aids in cooling the globe.

        60

      • #
        Carbon500

        Talking of batteries, I notice that the car manufacturers are busy telling us how ‘green’ their hybrid and electric cars are, but nothing is mentioned regarding battery life, replacement costs, or the pollutants generated in battery technology.
        How many millions of batteries are we talking about if this technology is adopted I wonder?

        10

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Yonnie:

        Something is toxic if it gets into the body in soluble form.
        A classic case is barium sulphate, which is the barium meal used in medicine for X-rays of the stomach/intestine. Barium is about 5 times more toxic than lead, but there has never been an illness associated with barium sulphate because it is one of the least soluble substances known. It isn’t even soluble in concentrated sulphuric acid.

        Cadmium pigments are reasonably low in soluble cadmium, and modern production tries to reduce any soluble cadmium and then coats the particles with an insoluble coating.
        For all that, cadmium is nasty stuff. If cadmium in soluble form is ingested, apart from the other effects you mention, it gets absorbed into the bones and embrittles them. It is a cumulative effect as the rate of excretion is very slow. There was a nasty case in Japan where soluble cadmium was discharged into water, then used to irrigate rice. Despite the low level, the effect built up over the years. Google itai itai disease for further information.

        20

      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        You have to be a little careful when you label chemicals as carcinogens, Some depend on the mode of contact with the person, like one metal (Ni?) is on there because a few cancers were induced by inserting fine-grained metal under the human skin.
        The latest official list I have been able to find is below. I’d appreciate knowing if anyone has a later one.

        USA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
        http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/eleventh/known.pdf
        Updated May 2010.
        Part A. Known to be Human Carcinogens.
        Shortened slightly by the author to contain specific chemicals only. (e.g deletion of “tobacco smoking” and “U-V light”).

        4-Aminobiphenyl
        Analgesic Mixtures Containing Phenacetin
        Arsenic Compounds, Inorganic
        Asbestos
        Azathioprine
        Benzene
        Benzidine (See Benzidine and Dyes Metabolized to Benzidine)
        Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds
        1,3-Butadiene
        1,4-Butanediol Dimethanesulfonate (Myleran®)
        Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds
        Chlorambucil
        1-(2-Chloroethyl)-3-(4-methylcyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea (MeCCNU)
        bis(Chloromethyl) Ether
        Chromium Hexavalent Compounds
        Coal Tar Pitches (See Coal Tars and Coal Tar Pitches)
        Cyclophosphamide
        Cyclosporin A
        Diethylstilbestrol
        Erionite
        Estrogens, Steroidal
        Ethylene Oxide
        Melphalan
        Methoxsalen with Ultraviolet A Therapy (PUVA)
        Mineral Oils (Untreated and Mildly Treated)
        Mustard Gas
        2-Naphthylamine
        Nickel Compounds (See Nickel Compounds and Metallic Nickel)
        Radon (See Ionizing Radiation)
        Silica, Crystalline (Respirable Size)
        Strong Inorganic Acid Mists Containing Sulfuric Acid
        Tamoxifen
        2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD); “Dioxin”
        Thiotepa 249
        Vinyl Chloride
        Wood Dust

        10

    • #
      Wally

      Actually sulfur hexafluoride is counted as a pollutant.

      It’s a great insulator, used to make electrical switchyards smaller.

      It’s also very dense, so it falls. Which is why (!) it is also one of the highest taxed things under the glorious carbon tax. How it gets into the upper atmosphere by falling is beyond me.

      But this is another reason that power bills have gone up: the electrical distribution companies are now paying a fortune in carbon tax (their stocks of sulphur hexafluoride being one of their (now) biggest carbon-taxed assets); the taxes they pay come from somewher – ie us mug consumers.

      Oh, and cadmium, lead, and selenium are banned by the European RoHS legislation, and are not allowed to be used in electronics any more. I doubt you will find them in modern solar panels. (The lack of lead in solder causes all manner of other problems in electronics, we’re barely seeing the start of the mess caused by that decision.)

      30

      • #

        Several years back our city leaders were trying to get a junk yard visible from the interstate cleaned up, saying it made the town look bad to people passing through. Somewhere in all the discussion, a political figure was quoted as saying if we did not take care of this and there was a flood, there would be “engine blocks floating down the Platte river”. He was serious.

        00

    • #

      You forgot lead. (Pb)

      Which may be used in the electronics, etc because it’s planet-saving equipment. Last time I checked, the whole renewable industry is exempt from RoHS restrictions.

      20

  • #
    Joe V.

    As if selling a home wasn’t hard enough.
    Here’s a Greenie outfit acknowledging the difficulties in getting any consideration for your outlay on a Solar PV installation when moving and you while you can take it with you, you’d have all the extra costs of deinstalling, roof repair, reinstalling, and No Preferential FeedIn Tarrif at the new place.
    What a Headache.

    40

  • #
    Dave

    If the average life span of a solar panel installation is approximately 15 years:

    Then who is responsible for the disposal of toxic waste resulting from solar panels themselves?

    This waste problem is going to hit Australia by 2015 and on. Yup! Adam Brandt and Christine Milne say just ship it overseas where it came from. The Green Energy Groups, The Greens, the ALP, solar manufacturers and all the others idiots that actively encourage this environmental vandalism must be held to account.

    The Greens are the real polluters.

    80

  • #
    Beth cooper

    Help the planet,git yr own solar energy installation, if not
    effective 24 /7.it’s effective 12/7, er maybe 6/7 er …
    fergit it.

    11

  • #
    Mike

    So 10% of wealthier Australians benefit from solar, and 90% of the poorer in society pay for it.

    10

  • #
    Tim

    “As climate change threatens humans and the environment, it is more important than ever to work for the efficient and wide-scale adoption of well sited, responsibly and effectively operated renewable energy generation facilities.” – WWF Jan17, 2013

    Oops … they forgot to add: “At great expense to your country’s economy – necessitating higher taxes, higher energy bills and restrictions on people’s right to select the most efficient and cost-effective energy system for themselves.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/01/17/1460431/solar-world-land/?mobile=nc

    10

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      To paraphrase something P. T. Barnum didn’t say in spit of its being attributed to him, “There’s an idiot born every minute.”

      That was in Barnum’s time. By now it must be an idiot every second.

      20

  • #

    Spain has discovered that when the subsidies are higher than the cost of diesel fuel, solar cells will generate electricity at midnight. Another renewable miracle!

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/its-an-ill-wind/

    Pointman

    61

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    They aren’t totally useless. The Los Angeles Community College District put in huge solar panels mounted over spaces in the parking lot. If you’re lucky enough to be able to park under one, you get protection from the San Fernando Valley sun and your steering wheel doesn’t burn your hands when you get in to go home.

    See there! Who said they’re totally useless?

    It’s an ill wind indeed that blows nobody good. ;-)

    61

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Sounds like we could use some of those here in Newcastle Roy.

      KK :)

      30

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        KK,

        About now, after the big scandal over the excessive cost, schedule slippage and at this point, certainly disappointment about performance, they will probably be glad to let you have them.

        So come ‘n get ‘em! :-)

        But carrying solar panels is probably about as useful as carrying coals to Newcastle, if you get what I mean. ;-)

        20

      • #

        Cheeses!!

        At $1000 per square metre, that’s very expensive roofing. Especially when it won’t even stop decent hailstones.

        20

  • #
    janama

    I have only one question. Where is the journalist who will interview the heads of the Power companies and get them to explain all this BS to the general public who still believe they are saving the planet. 4 corners?

    30

    • #
      MadJak

      Janama,

      I fear that Journalism as a profession is extinct in the Lamestream media.

      They’ll complain about the lamestreams demise, but really, just having people parrot the latest routers news feeds (spelling mistakes and all), what else do they expect?

      30

  • #
    pat

    good.

    Campaigners fear for UN climate deal as EU falters
    LONDON, April 26 (Reuters Point Carbon) – United Nations negotiations aiming at preventing uncontrollable climate change will resume next week without Europe as the driving force, EU lawmakers and environment groups said Thursday, a loss of leadership some have said raises the chances of a weak global deal…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2325478

    20

  • #
    Dennis

    We bad, we not fooled,we not stupid, communist sociailst green union labor comrades very upset

    21

  • #

    Government subsidies, grants, favours’ call them what you will, distort everything. If any remotely savvy business minded person thought there was any genuine win/win possibility with household solar panels they would have very quickly filled that niche. Pollies are so arrogant, that comes from being in control of money that you don’t have to answer for. Socialists are blindly, incontrovertibly thick or detached. To get our attention they have to invent fake emergencies or blameless victims.

    11

  • #
    klem

    Where I live in N America, when you go to sell your house with solar panels on the roof, generally they reduce the so-called ‘curbside appeal’ of your home. The prospective buyer almost always demands that they be removed. But instead of removing them, the seller usually opts to reduce the asking price by $10,000 to $20,000.

    Solar panels, they are a financial lose/lose.

    No wonder government thinks they’re a great idea.

    21

  • #
    Safetyguy66

    The way the math is played with to make arguments like “solar benefits consumers” just leaves my head spinning. I saw a post from Bloomberg recently stating wind was as efficient as gas even with subsidies removed. My company (wind farm builders) jumped all over it for the publicity, then had to eat their words when I pointed out that the CEC had corrected the report to point out that its actually only WITH the subsidies that wind becomes competetive, in other words, not at all.

    How Joe Public is ever meant to work it out… I guess they just dont… like so many people they trust their chosen source of authority and just go with that.

    11