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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Solar panel owners asked to pay “to sell back to the grid”

Solar Owners in South Australia are furious that they might be charged to sell back to the grid. They are used to getting all the transmission lines and power plants for free.

The awful truth:

Mr Preus said he had installed his household solar PV system to save money and help the environment, but was now questioning his investment.

“We’ll never, ever in our lifetime recoup our investment, the return is just not there.”

“People will just disconnect them, and tell them to get stuffed, that’s what I would do,” he said.

They’ve been sold a lemon: misled into believing the energy the panels made was useful and economic. Instead solar owners without batteries can only provide excess energy no one needs at lunchtime. Lunchtime voltages are surging and their inverters are tripping off anyhow. And they themselves need to be hooked up to the grid to get the electro-juice they want, most hours of the day.

Finally there is some attempt to fix the Soviet-level planning disaster. People are just starting to notice that the poor are paying for the networks to supply the rich.

But the call to charge them comes from welfare groups:

Householders with rooftop solar panels and batteries have reacted with fury to proposals which could see them charged for exporting power to the electricity grid.

But now, welfare groups and transmission company SA Power Networks have asked the Australian Energy Markets Commission to change market rules to impose a charge on household exporters.

They argue that under the current system, households without solar could be unfairly burdened with the cost of augmenting power networks to cope with the increase of new panels,

But those wanting to change the rules have to make a very good case, or the anger and righteous indignance will stop the rule change. To that end, the phrase “free ride” is a good start.

This fee supposedly adds $20 – $30 dollars a year. A pittance compared to the damage bill.

h/t Bill in Oz.

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Rating: 9.3/10 (110 votes cast)
Solar panel owners asked to pay "to sell back to the grid", 9.3 out of 10 based on 110 ratings

232 comments to Solar panel owners asked to pay “to sell back to the grid”

  • #
    Jojodogfacedboy

    Sort of have to laugh that no matter what the governments get involved in, the costs go back to the citizens for all these failures.

    690

    • #
      ghl

      JoJo
      Like the greens are proposing how to improve the economy during the recovery from Corona. Terrifying.

      421

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      What I thought most curious, remarkable and absurd,
      Was the sense of entitlement expressed by Mr Preus in Adelaide
      His thinking goes like this : ..
      ‘I have the RIGHT to generate my unreliable, expensive, unstable frequency electricity
      And force you to buy it.
      Even though we all know it causes voltage spikes and shorts out electrical equipment
      And even though cheaper stable voltage & stable frequency electricity from coal or gas is available all the time.

      The right of consumers to decide to what the type of electricity they want is non existent in this thinking.
      Now that is ideology gone nuts.

      397

      • #
        yarpos

        Putting words in his mouth Bill. He is probably like most consumers who have been sold a pup by shonky solar companies supported by incompetent govts and the lure of green virtue signalling. He probably knows little to nothing about the technology or the machinations of the market.

        353

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Yarpos he knows he is on a lucrative scam
          And wants to keep it going.
          Frankly that is dishonest.
          Bugger !

          207

          • #
            Rupert Ashford

            Spot on, and I call BS on “not knowing”. In the end it is up to each of us to make sure we understand what we are letting ourselves in for when “investing” money. That’s how it’s always worked, why should it now all of a sudden be different in the renewable energy scam.

            270

            • #
              Deano

              Also – the politicians who were pictured cutting ribbons and posing with Koala bears talking about their commitment to saving the planet, have now mostly moved on. Their successors can’t benefit politically from paying for it, so they will expose its true costs and let the people decide.

              60

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Our regular electricity provider (central Washington, USA) charges $22.50/month as a facilities charge. A lot of things are included in that, but not electrons. That charge is based on use at $ 0.0950/kWh. Our utility district buys the electricity. Two very different concepts.

    There are specially suited places where solar and/or wind make good sense. A person’s home connected to a grid is nonsensical. This is one of the many ways a government destroys its citizens wealth.

    383

    • #
      William Astley

      And there are good technical reason why installing solar panels on homes does not make sense. Electrical grids were not designed for small power sources at individual homes. There are engineering things and costs that must be done to enable that to occur.

      Another reason why it is not a good idea to install solar panels on roofs, is the dust problem.

      Solar panel efficiency drops by around 40% due to dust with time, until there is rain, which reflects light. Go up on any roof and roll around wearing white clothes. In a commercial solar farm, de-mineralized water (daily at the very large solar farms I have information on) is used to clean the panels to avoid the dust problem.

      In Germany, home solar panels were subsidized and pushed because the Left liked the advertising effect of visible panels. The Left do accept engineering reality. The Left are ‘theoretical thinkers’. The Left make-up their own reality. The Left have through the fake media, created a silly dream image of the real world which is pushed nightly, that is full of anger, with fake causes that have no solutions, and ‘solutions’ that do not work. In this case, making electricity expensive and damaging the environment and doing zero about climate climate…

      662

      • #
        PeterS

        In other words it’s a scam of monumental proportions. People have been sent to prison for life for far smaller scams.

        450

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        W.A.
        I think that should read “The Left do NOT accept engineering reality”.

        Full marks to SA Power Networks for bringing this problem up BEFORE it becomes critical, and to enlist the bleeding heart groups in support. Of course it is charging the poor for the benefit of the better off, although I doubt that many of those who rushed into buying solar panels have benefitted. Early adopters excepted. It really involves a payment up front to reduce on-going electricity bills (which then go up in response to the lower demand and increased costs to the grid controllers).

        Supposedly the charge would avoid existing panels and apply only from 2025. Whether that is true or merely someone in Government trying to reassure voters. It doesn’t matter as it will become universal fairly rapidly, especially as it would “fit in” the SA Governments plans on panel owners buying batteries (see first line above about “reality”).

        And for the record I installed panels nearly 10 years ago, once I calculated the cost/benefit including the guaranteed feed-in tariff rate (until oddly enough 2025). In that time they have paid for themselves – including a replacement inverter – with a rate of return of 13.4% free of tax. I said from the start that I was getting the benefit at the cost of those unable to afford the cost of installation, and didn’t use the Fitzroy excuse of “doing it for the environment”.

        With the current feed-in tariff and cheaper panels I calculate the rate of return at 3.8% p.a. or a payback time of 32 years. For the current State government scheme for panels plus battery I calculate a rate of return of 1% (not allowing for several replacement inverters or dumping charges for useless panels). Apparently there is no shortage of buyers wanting the Government interest free loan if we are to believe the frantic advertisements of solar panel sellers.

        441

        • #
          John in Oz

          If you installed between 1st July 2008 and 30th September 2011, according to https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/energy-and-environment/energy-bills/solar-feed-in-payments:

          If you do not upgrade or alter your system, your 44c per kWh distributor feed-in tariff will continue until 30 June 2028.

          The impracticalities and problems associated with roof-top solar were raised well before SAPN decided it was going to become a critical issue. Various governments ignored the warnings from engineers, expecting those same people to develop the system that would ensure sufficient unicorns were available to satisfy the greenies and World-savers.

          We will now hear lots of politicians spouting ‘Let’s not concern ourselves with what occurred in the past as I have the solution’ and ‘I was not the Minister at that time’.

          320

          • #
            george1st:)

            The Labor/greens have been promising cheap (free) power to the voters for years .
            It was the first step towards unreliable and more expensive electricity with black and brown outs required also .
            Education of the masses is required for people to really understand what is/has happened .
            There was more CO2 emitted by the bush fires than AUS produces by man in years .
            Yet people still vote for smashing our economy .
            AUS media is mostly to blame , promoting what they believe and think other people wish for rather than FACTS .
            CO2 and Climate is the new religion for many .

            131

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Dust isn’t a problem in locations where the rainfall is heavy and does a good job of panel cleaning. Perth Western Australia is one of these places where it seems nobody bothers with regular panel cleaning.

        54

        • #
          MudCrab

          Your point about natural water based panel cleaning being free and regular is probably completely valid.

          The counter argument is we are meant to be talking about Solar power, not Hydro.

          Loose rule of thumb – if it is raining it is not sunny.

          80

          • #
            Graeme#4

            Not sure what it’s like where you live, but I can look up and down the street and see most houses with solar systems, all apparently very clean.

            10

      • #

        William you’ve found the solution

        There are engineering things and costs that must be done to enable that to occur.

        So the grid needs re-engineering and some money spent to make it work with solar inputs at times of low demand. I wonder if anyone thought of it before instead of just complaining about the mismatch?

        522

        • #
          Slithers

          They thought about it, costed it and instantly forgot about it due to the ASTRONOMICALLY high cost.
          Every transformer had to be replaced with a new one!

          240

        • #
          Analitik

          So the grid needs re-engineering and A HEAP of money spent to make it work with solar inputs at times of low demand. I wonder if anyone thought of it before instead of just subsidizing one and all to get residential solar systems with feed in tarriffs?

          80

          • #
            Slithers

            Perhaps the reality of what has to be changed has to be explained.
            Those power poles in the suburbs with large boxes on them and those large sub station buildings contain Transformers, some relatively small some huge. They transform the incoming voltage to the 240 volts that all our household equipment likes. Too high or too low spells dead equipment, wrong frequency spells local black-outs.
            The solar feed in process has to reverse this control, stepping down where the transformer are all step up systems, (Except the step-down ones from the main high voltage grid) . So each and every transformer in all suburbs that can feed into the local grid have to be REPLACED, by much more expensive transformers. The electronics to do this are not difficult, although they do produce local voltage spikes proportional to the load, your household equipment will not like those spikes! The cost of those replacement transformers is the stumbling block, add that to the fact that ALL the transformers in a section from High voltage feed to the local network and then to your home/place of work have to be of the same type so several thousand transformers needed to be changed overnight!

            110

      • #
        truth

        In Germany consumers pay a surcharge that comprises ~21% of every consumer’s electricity bill…that goes to fund the feed-in tariffs to finance RE carpetbagger generators.

        It’s expected to rise sharply in 2021 then peak…but there’s much scepticism about it falling after that .

        23% of the German electricity bill comprises a grid usage tax that goes to fund the increasingly ‘ higher handling costs’ of renewable electricity.

        52% of their bill goes to state taxes and fees.

        These South Australian home solar owners will probably find themselves forced to invest in batteries if they don’t have them already…because they’ll have to be herded into Virtual Power Plants so that authorities designated by the regulators can orchestrate them …apply demand response management and general oversight of their use and of anything electrical added to their home..…because as things stand now…and more so as coal is forced out of the NEM…only with the tightest of control of home solar… moment to moment…can AEMO have a hope of keeping the grid stable and the lights on.

        Home solar owners will probably be forced to upgrade periodically as technology changes …with much extra cost that will probably be borne at least in part by taxpayers …because the imperative will be to keep the home solar owners happy.

        Cleaning will probably become an issue too….and a new regular cost to owners or taxpayers.

        So much for the autonomy …cheap electricity and release from regulation and control so many owners thought they were buying…and how long before real coercion becomes the only way the regulators have to keep the worms in the can and the lights on.

        Whether electricity price rises are shown on the bill or hidden in other taxes..or in ‘cost-reflective tariffs’…they will be there IMO…it’s hard to see how it could possibly be otherwise.

        60

      • #
        David Brewer

        William Astley, This is great:

        The Left are ‘theoretical thinkers’. The Left make-up their own reality. The Left have through the fake media, created a silly dream image of the real world which is pushed nightly, that is full of anger, with fake causes that have no solutions, and ‘solutions’ that do not work.

        You see it with everything. Global warming will kill us all – but ruinables work. Racism is a big problem – but the solution is another sort of racism. Deficits don’t matter, and subsidies can fix anything.

        The only way of avoiding this nonsense is to turn off the box and search out the facts for yourself. But most are too addicted to the narratives they are fed every night.

        120

    • #
      bobl

      In Queensland we already get charged a services fee for connecting solar the grid of I think about 7c a day ($25 p/a) to connect solar in addition to the general fee of $1.16 per day $423 per year for a total of almost $450 per annum. I think that’s enough frankly.

      00

  • #
    Zigmaster

    In Australia we urgently need to have a cap on solar as the grid is becoming unmanageable. In fact they should turn off all renewables and run on base load all the time as it was designed. Everyone would be better off and the solar white elephant panels could be seen for what they really are. If Australia truely wants to build a manufacturing business to drive demand away from Chinese consumerables we need cheap and reliable electricity for all.

    511

    • #
      PeterS

      All true. However, it will all take time to build and see the benefits flowing from new coal fired power stations. So what is required is large subsidies by governments to speed up the whole process, much lie what they have done for renewables. The difference of course is the return on investment will be real and not based on some pipe dream. Of course none of that will happen as long as we have both major parties on a unity ticket with regards to reducing emissions, albeit at different speeds. Unless one of the major parties changes tune, we are stuck and we will never be competitive on the world scene.

      260

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘Estimates by other organisations of the annual federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industry range from A$5 billion to A$12 billion a year.’ Conversation

        Most of the large fossil fuel industry pay no tax, just sayin’.

        130

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          ‘The Conversation’ ??????

          Ohhhh yeah sure, that on line taxpayer subsidised Greenist propaganda BS thingie
          :-(

          223

          • #

            Great argument. Show that it is wrong.

            315

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              It has no argument.
              It is just propaganda.
              Who reads propaganda GA ?
              Only the ‘converted’ like yourself.

              143

              • #
                el gordo

                At the moment the subsidies for renewables has pretty much come to a close and free enterprise money is coming in to fill the void.

                The Conversation has bias, but its only propaganda when you can discover an outright lie.

                112

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                EG, The Conversation refuses to publish anything that does not fit it’s ideology.
                And it deletes commentators who don’t either.
                Personal experience.
                Propaganda Garbage !
                Bugger the Conversation

                112

              • #
                el gordo

                In the same way that the ABC has a biased view, unbalanced, so it needs to be purged. The Conversation has some thought provoking stories and in the fullness of time I expect that rag will publish our side of the story on climate change and energy.

                28

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                You will die waiting EG

                71

            • #
              bobl

              This BS comes from green propaganda that looked at all tax benefits the miners get the majority of which is the refund of diesel excise for off road vehicles such as mining machinery (excise is for roads and since these machines don’t use roads they don’t pay) and r&d tax benefits on exploration . All these “Subsidies” apply to ALL business including the renewables industry. In addition miners get to pay special additional taxes (royalties) that renewable generators don’t pay.

              I challenge you to find any industry specific subsidies (subsidies any business can’t get) of greater value that the royalties they pay.

              30

        • #
          yarpos

          As do a range of other companies, thats a tax regime issue

          20

        • #
          PeterS

          Company tax or lack thereof is not the issue. Personal tax is. I have no problem companies paying little or no tax as long as the executives and everyone else in the company pay their personal taxes as per normal. So the more bonuses anyone gets the more tax they pay. That’s where any rort should be uncovered and shut down.

          30

        • #
          Tony K

          Have often laughed at the fossil fuel subsidies argument in the US. What is a subsidy? From what I understand, the US government “subsidized” the fossil fuel industry to the tune of a little over $4B a year. A bit over $1B goes to the National Oil and Gas Reserves. Cut this out and live with no reserves. But the Anti-fossil fuel brigade count it as a subsidy. A little under $1B per year goes back to the agricultural industry because that industry uses oil and gas, and pays taxes on it, but don’t drive agricultural rigs on roads. Why should farmers pay taxes for roads that they don’t use? But giving money back to the farmers amounts to another subsidy. Another amount just shy of a $1B is accounted for oil and gas assistance for the poor to keep warm in winter. Seems wasteful! Should just tell those poor people to migrate to Florida for winter like all the wealthy toffs. And this too is regarded as a subsidy. A substantial amount of that $4B also goes back to the fossil fuel industry in tax credits, write-offs and incentives. You know the same things that companies like Apple, Disney, Amazon, Boeing, General Electric and almost every other company in the US gets and fills in the details on their tax forms. So perhaps, Gee Aye, you might like to explain your definition of a “subsidy” and explain why it should apply to some companies, organizations and people, but not to the ones you say it shouldn’t apply to.

          210

        • #
          Analitik

          Tax rebates are not the same as subsidy payments.

          61

        • #
          Dean

          When you actually read the reports which claim huge subsidies its crystal clear that most of the “subsidy” is the difference in what the group (always pro-green) thinks should be charged as a CO2 tax, and what is actually being charged.

          This is the only reason that they can claim “HUGE SUBSIDIES TO FOSSIL FUELS”.

          100

          • #
            David

            Dean. Renewables should be charged a sunshine royalty and a wind royalty or tax. Why not. The government provides lots of services to these industries yet get nothing back.

            20

        • #
          truth

          ElGordo:

          Google it and you’ll find…

          First response is from MarketForces…a subversive org that’s a real and present danger to Australia IMO …backed by Clintonfixers & other nefarious foreign Socialists.

          Second response is from the Marxist anti-Australian [IMO] Australia Institute that will see Australia dead if they have their way which they’re increasingly getting lately IMO.

          The order tells you something about Google’s agenda IMO.

          They are followed at 5th place by the Minerals Council…wherein the facts are..

          …That half Australia’s mineral company profits go to pay Income tax…Royalties and Company tax…in Australia to Federal and state governments.

          …Dividends are paid to shareholders including ordinary Australians via Super.

          ….According to Deloitte the industry paid $31billion in tax in 2017-18

          ….The Productivity Commission confirms that the mining industry receives no subsidies.

          The mining companies receive …along with other industries eg farmer…fishers… tourism operators that pay diesel tax on the diesel fuel they use..… a rebate in the form of a tax credit on the diesel tax they would otherwise pay.…to reimburse them for the fact that their vehicles are mainly used off-road…whereas the rest of us use them on-road.

          The minerals are worth nothing to us in the ground where the International Left/UN wants them to stay until they themselves decide to access them under the UN/Communist China-led Global Socialist redistribution regime…whereat they would be deemed a global resource from which Australia would profit nothing …just hope to be meted out
          a tiny share…if the Socialist dictatorships are willing to spare us any.

          140

        • #
          David Brewer

          Federal petrol, diesel and other fuel tax revenue in Australia for the last completed financial year was $19.8 billion – see Table 3 on page 5 here.

          That was a special tax, only applied to fuels. It doesn’t count GST, company tax, personal tax on the employees of fuel companies, payroll tax etc. etc.

          Total expenditures on “fuels and energy” was only $7.7 billion (Table A1 on page 80) – and no doubt that counted wind and solar subsidies as well as any to fossil fuels.

          So the Commonwealth made a massive special profit of well over $12 billion out of fossil fuels – not counting all the regular taxes it also extracted from that industry.

          Calculations of “subsidies” and “tax expenditures” to fossil fuels that leave out the special revenue collected only on those fuels are just plain dishonest. If both revenue and expenditure are taken into account, there are no net subsidies to fossil fuels – the government is way ahead.

          50

  • #
    Sean

    I don’t know what incentives were built into the solar power pricing but buying a wholesale perishable commodity at a guaranteed retail price without regard to the value was unsustainable. Paying wholesale spot prices would encourage storage so that energy could be sold when it had greater value than the cost of generation.

    61

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Sean:
      The current feed-in tariff translates to $80 per MWh. An increase to $110 wouldn’t encourage many to install a battery.

      As for paying spot prices the wholesale price spikes in cost are because supply has not kept pace with demand.
      Household solar just reduces the demand when the sun is shining, but there is currently no way of measuring total output, nor of calculating all those homes output.

      112

  • #
    PeterS

    Given the growing issues and problems associated with solar powered homes feeding back into the grid, they should be banned from doing so and just be allowed to be used in isolation. Simples. Of course that would make them uneconomic but so what? The grid is for all, not just for those with the money to invest in solar panels to profit from it in some way at the expense of the rest. Governments proclaim they believe in level playing fields. Of course governments are always experts at being hypocrites.

    280

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Our feathered friends have the final say …

    The Effects Of Bird Droppings Solar Panels – The Harsh Reality

    “Watching all of this from above, have been the birds and they have been loving it, as you can see!”

    http://cleansolarsolutions.com.au/effect-of-bird-droppings-on-solar-panels

    130

    • #
      Another Ian

      Around that area

      I’m learning that plain turkey droppings will remove the clear-coat from a vehicle’s paint work

      60

      • #
        yarpos

        I had a flock off pelicans crap on a company car once. They roosted in a big pine over the car. It was black but looked like a safari car with zebra strips down the side when it was done.

        Washed it off in the morning when i could find a car wash but it bubbled the clear coat on the bonnet.

        60

        • #
          Annie

          We bought an old Volvo 240 for our daughter years ago. It was cheap because there were bird dropping marks all over it.
          If, a big if, we were ever to have solar panels, they would be fixed somewhere away from the house, stand alone from the grid and some battery storage. A very big if!

          50

    • #
      MudCrab

      Yes, but if the birds are leaving ‘surprises’ on your solar panels, at least they are not damaging your roof tiles :D

      10

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    As an Engineer, I cheered when I heard this.

    Its great news, as it will stop the grid from being made unstable from too much solar.

    As usual, its politicians who refuse to grasp the technical issues and pursue tgd green BS that has brought us to this point. That said, if home owners are willing to stick a batttery in, its not all bad news….

    200

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Steve, agreed. But think of the side benefit – the reduction of demand during the day means that wind turbines are being limited in output (by round robin shut downs). Wind farms are losing at least 10% of their revenue so enthusiasm for new turbines is dropping fast.
      The “solution” according to the State Government is for an extra interconnector so that electricity can be lost in line transmission.

      150

      • #
        MudCrab

        Actually Graeme the solution by our State Government is for a new interconnector to allow us to sell ‘clean’ power to NSW.

        Yeah.

        Sigh.

        20

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          That is the cover story but consider the distances involved; 760 km to Griffith, 870 to Wagga. Then if you want to send it all the way to the big users it’s further, getting near the limit. I leave that to the electrical engineers but I still think that any supply will become a trickle at the other end.

          The major “benefit” is that the wind farms won’t be forced to shut down when production is high (and price is low**) and will be able to sell (at a higher price) into NSW.

          **see the law of Supply snd Demand.

          10

          • #
            Another Ian

            But there that pipe dream runs into NSW’s latest pipe dream of that central NSA renewables zone doesn’t it?

            Obviously need more street lights for Wilcannia et al

            00

    • #
      TedM

      Spot on Steve. I’ve seen this as a pure con from the outset even though I have grid connect solar myself. I also have enough stand alone solar to carry most of my requirements during the day so that I could pump most of my grid connect solar into the grid and get the input tariff. I’ve profited from doing it this way although at times I have felt a tinge of guilt.

      One only needed high school physics, basic mathematics and a reasonable understanding of power distribution and cost of networks to know this was a con. I struggle to grasp the total lack of tech savvy that exists in the political classes. All credit to Craig Kelly who at least makes a genuine attempt to understand these issues.

      Another question you would have to ask, is how would anyone with an IQ above freezing believe that power supply systems that only work sometimes successfully supply our domestic and industrial requirements.

      281

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Ted, it’s helped if you are converted to ‘Green’ economics and ‘Green’ mathematics.
        For the rest of us it’s a scam.

        113

        • #
          TedM

          By “Green mathematics” I guess you mean maths for pre schoolers Bill. Also assuming that to qualify for “Green economics” one would need to be a lifetime Centrelink recipient.

          111

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Ted, Green mathematic is the maths that does not add up.
            Maybe from Pre-schoolers..But I had irrational conversations with ‘renewable engineers’
            With tertiary quals. who used green maths all the time.

            As for Centerlink recipients, very few can afford the cost of solar roof top installations.
            That’s for the well of & well meaning virtue seekers mate.

            133

            • #
              Polnud Pete

              This is where Ben Shapiro would add “Math doesn’t care about your feelings”.

              Engineering be damned! With so many of these people it is ALL about how it feels and not what it achieves.

              120

            • #
              TedM

              “As for Centerlink recipients, very few can afford the cost of solar roof top installations.
              That’s for the well of & well meaning virtue seekers mate.”

              I actually had supporters of the concept in mind there Bill, rather than those with solar. Those with grid connect solar include me.

              00

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I think the pollies just assumed ( danger!!) thst sone big battery would sort it al out..

        Kind of like Deep Thought computer in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy….

        61

        • #
          Another Ian

          Definitely danger – “assume” being the word that

          “Makes an “ass” out of “U” and “me” “

          01

    • #
      Another Ian

      OS

      Maybe those politicians would also get a grasp of these

      In this anti nuclear power argument


      Craig from Oz
      July 14, 2020 at 11:57 pm

      Question:

      What is the difference between radioactive waste and ex-windfarm blades?

      Answer:

      Radioactive waste has a half life.”

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/14/vox-many-technologies-needed-to-solve-the-climate-crisis-are-nowhere-near-ready/#comment-3035189

      And

      “New Ontario Power Record: 895 days of Reliable, Uninterrupted 24×7 Zero Carbon Nuclear Power”

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/15/new-ontario-power-record-895-days-reliable-uninterrupted-24×7-zero-carbon-power/

      100

      • #
        Analitik

        I do like the CANDU reactors since they can be refuelled without shutdown and also run on unenriched uranium (which should appease the proliferation scaremongers but doesn’t)

        40

    • #
      Dennis

      Far more important to virtue signal via Paris Agreement to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions.

      sarc

      20

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Disney is currently installing solar panels on homes around its Orlando park, to provide electricity so that the local utility
    does not need to build another plant — which it will of course have to build. But Disney at least does not pretend it is not Fantasyland.

    81

  • #
    David Maddison

    Related:

    In Victoriastan Chairman Do Pi Dan is offering new taxpayer-funded subsidies to install domestic solar as part of his push to give away more taxpayer-funded “free stuff” (but the Sheeple are too stupid to understand they ultimately pay for the free stuff).

    Out of curiosity I called a solar company and asked about my case. The first question was like from an episode from COPS and I was asked “is there anything I need to know about your roof”. I said yes, I have a three story house and the north side will require scaffold to be set up as there is there is no access to bring a cherry picker or scissor lift.

    Because my installation involved extra work compared to a regular home he decided that for the purpose of them harvesting the subsidy it was too much trouble and he said my property was unsuitable for solar.

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  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Everyone connected to the grid pays a fee for that privilege, including those seeking to sell excess rooftop generation.

    How then is this an impost on the poor?

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    • #
      David Maddison

      Part of the impost on the poor is that Australia has some of the world’s most expensive electricity while being one of the world’s most energy rich countries.

      The poor, and everyone, pay about three times what they would if free market forces were allowed to prevail for electricity prices and no subsidies were paid to unreliable producers and there were no other legislated market distortions.

      It’s due to our Government and many of the Sheeple having one of the world’s most fanatical commitments to the lie of anthropogenic global warming.

      But Peter, you need to understand that the Elites who push this unreliable energy nonsense don’t care about the poor and they never have.

      282

    • #
      TedM

      Sigh….groan. PF when a grid connect subscriber is drawing from their own solar panels, they are not being charged for that component of their power. If they were drawing from the grid they would be paying for both the cost of power production plus network distribution. However the cost of maintaining the network has not fallen simply because some users are not using it as much as they would be if they were not grid solar connected. How do you think that loss of network user income is recouped?

      Work it out PF. And that is ignoring subsidies.

      130

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        TedM – you pay the supply charge independently of the amount of energy you export or consume. I this is news to you, I’m sorry to burst your bubble.

        210

    • #
      RickWill

      How then is this an impost on the poor?

      The grid was designed for power to flow one way; from generators to consumers. With the rapidly increasing solar generation in residential locations, the power flow is now both ways in some areas. That means the voltage at points in the system goes much higher when pushing power back up the system than when sending power down the system. It is all technically possible to rebalance the system voltage but requires automatic tap changing transformers, which are higher capital cost and higher cost to maintain. Distributers have already budgeted to do some of this refit but it very expensive to do the whole system.

      This means the distribution costs have to go up dramatically to cater for those consumers who are also generating power. It is unfair to levy this charge on those not generating power and contributing to the problem.

      The other impost is that the wholesale price of electricity often goes negative. This is fundamentally a consequence of the high cost involved in large coal generators to disconnect and reconnect or idle. They prefer to send out power at their minimum setting, accepting a negative price for a short period to force the intermittent generators to back off. Rooftop solar does not back off in response to wholesale price. The only thing that backs it off is overvoltage or disconnection. So households are still getting paid for exported power while all the grid scale generators are paying to send power out. That pushes up the average price of retail power. (It is a sore point for the grid scale intermittent generators because they are curtailing more output as the amount of rooftop increases)

      None of this was a problem until rooftop became a significant source of generation at lunchtime.

      170

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        RickWill:

        There is also a cost to stabilise renewable supplies e.g. S.A. grid controller is installing synchronous condensers at a cost of $160 million to stabilise the short term frequency/voltage. This was supplied free of charge by the coal fired power stations, before they were shut down and dynamited.
        This is a cost of $95 per head of population in S.A. That will go on everybody’s bill.
        Then there are calls for a new connector to NSW at a cost of $774 per head, to reduce the shutdowns ordered by AEMO to prevent grid blackouts.
        And we are getting Snowy2 at a cost of $445 per head to “smooth out supply”.

        160

    • #
      TedM

      PF: please read and digest. “TedM July 17, 2020 at 7:38 am” ·

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    As I have said before, we need to use smart meters to their full capability.

    Those that choose to consume unreliables should ONLY be supplied by them at whatever the free market cost is determined to be. When the wind stops, when the Sun goes dim and when the batteries go flat, their power should be cut off.

    For those of us who want reliable coal, gas, properly engineered hydro (that doesn’t include the Snowy Hydro 2.0 big battery) or nuclear (if it were available) we should also get that at free market prices and also suffer an outage on the extremely rare occurrences that the power fails.

    Smart meters can do this. You have a database that counts the amount of unreliable energy produced and only allows that amount to be distributed to consumers. No consumption of reliables should be allowed by those that select to choose civilisation-destroying unreliables.

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    • #
      Annie

      Hear hear David! Canberra should be in that sort of arrangement…maybe the pollies and civil serpents might get real if they had to rely on the claimed 100% ruinables.

      40

      • #
        Analitik

        I have stated that phase transformers should be fitted in the ACT for all transmission lines that feed to their local grid. Then the power passed through can be set to equal that being produced by their contracted renewables.

        The resulting fluctuations in their grid would be quite entertaining (to those of us outside)

        50

  • #
    Another Ian

    No booster battery to help the RE network here!

    “Vice: The New Ford Bronco Is An Obscene Monument to Climate Denialism”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/16/vice-the-new-ford-bronco-is-an-obscene-monument-to-climate-denialism/

    40

    • #
      David Maddison

      It’s a magnificent testament to the beauty of capitalism and the (somewhat) free market.

      Sadly, most people don’t seem to understand or appreciate capitalism these days. I usually refer people to Milton Friedman’s lecture series or book “Free to Choose”. The lectures are available free on YouTube (another miracle of capitalism).

      As per the original “two cows” description from 1944:

      Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbour.

      Communism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then gives you some milk.

      Fascism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then sells you some milk.

      Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

      Nazism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

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      • #
        Serge Wright

        You forgot Climate Alarmism. You have two cows, the government shoots them and forces you to grow lettuce instead.

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  • #
    Tony Taylor

    Energy Australia already charge me $1.28 a day for a connection fee. But since they call it a “Secure Saver” I’m ahead, right?

    20

  • #
    Rowjay

    The study documents compiled in support of the Snowy 2 Pumped Hydro scheme make interesting reading, especially the background studies on the National Energy Market (NEM) in reports released in 2018. Some quotes:

    The primary reason SA can function adequately without significantly more storage is due to its use of the interconnectors (Heywood and MurrayLink). SA is essentially using the interconnector like a giant battery, importing when it needs (discharging) and exporting excess VRE production (charging). To balance the market without the interconnector, SA would have needed storage of over 1,200 GWh in 2017. If this was 4.2-hour storage similar to the Tesla batteries used as Hornsdale, this would have required over 285,700 MW of installed capacity – versus the mere 100 MW of Hornsdale

    …and this one…

    Batteries were the principal storage technology developed in the AEMO ISP modelling, and
    possibly are the most direct competitor to pumped hydro storage in the NEM. However, on the current cost curves batteries with storage hours of over about 4 hours will not be economic on spot market
    revenues until past 2040.

    So the citizen is producing what is now termed “spill energy”- energy production that is not controllable – unless someone spends a lot of money on extra infrastructure to cope with it. Ramp this problem up to grid scale and the same is happening – more infrastructure and more poles and wires. It wasn’t that long ago that our high power costs were blamed on excessive spending on poles and wires – so the solution is to spend more??

    After absorbing the above documents, I now fully understand why our Federal Govt has not set a renewable energy target.

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    • #
      RickWill

      After absorbing the above documents, I now fully understand why our Federal Govt has not set a renewable energy target.

      There is an existing target, The annualised LRET of 33GWh was met on a monIthly basis in September 2019.

      Each Stage Government have their own target, invariably higher than the Federal, but they have limited budgets to encourage further investment.

      40

  • #
    Robber

    OpenNEM reports that for the last financial year, the average ex generator price for SA was $67.40/MWhr (6.7 cents/kWhr).
    They report large solar value as $55.72/MWhr (5.6 cents) and rooftop solar as $43.40/MWhr (4.3 cents). Wind generators received $45.91/MWhr.
    In Victoria the minimum feed in tariff for 2020-21 has been set at 10.2 cents – other consumers are being ripped off, because the average ex generator price is 7.8 cents.
    In setting the minimum price, the Vic Essential Services Commission states: “We consider the costs that are avoided when your retailer buys your solar power instead of power from a large scale generator. This includes the cost of power that is normally lost when it travels long distances through the transmission network from a large central generator and the cost of the fees and charges your retailer would normally pay to the Australian Energy Market Operator when they buy wholesale energy. The minimum feed-in tariff also includes a price that is paid to account for the avoided social cost of carbon attributable to a reduction in air pollution due to the energy exported by your solar panels. This rate is currently set by the Victorian Government at 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh).” What a joke.

    80

  • #
    Earl

    In Melbourne today, the temperature at 6:30 was 3 degrees.
    It is very still, foggy and cold, pretty much like the rest of Victoria.
    I just called a green ”friend”, and asked how much of the electricity he used to cook his breakfast came from renewables.
    He hung up….

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    • #
      David Maddison

      To drive the point home as hard as it needs to be, as per my post at #11, reliables must NOT be allowed to back up unreliables.

      Your green “friend” should be consuming unreliables only and therefore skipping breakfast today, and most days.

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      • #
        Analitik

        Difficult for grids where consumers are given a choice for “green” energy.

        We should start with the ACT, where they have their electricity contracted to be “100% renewable”.

        Excess generation needs to be fed through as well as shortfalls to be fair. Then it’s up to them to “average out” their consumption.

        My previous thoughts of using phase transformers is probably not adequate for this – I’d be happy to have our taxes fund a large induction motor outside the ACT grid powering a generator to feed it, with the motor controlled to match the sum of their contracted renewable suppliers at all times.

        20

        • #
          Analitik

          Actually, a (very) short HVDC link would work as well since the inverters are entirely controllable. I’m not sure which option would be cheaper but would still be willing to have us fund either option to make the ACT grid properly “100% renewably sourced”.

          20

          • #
            Graeme#4

            Kind of makes me wonder if our entire grid shouldn’t eventually be DC.

            10

            • #
              Slithers

              The reason Ana & G4 is Lightningly obvious!
              A constant DC voltage has associated with the current that it is carrying a HUGE potential to offer a lightning strike a very easy was down from the thunderstorm.
              What caused the Tas link to fail a year or so ago, a breakdown at the AC to DC converter at the shoreline which I think occurred during a thunderstorm. The voltage required to provide the required load carrying energy would be significant and the lightning strikes at random places along the DC grid.
              The voltage drop as the load fluctuates would be hard to regulate.
              A long time ago I was an engineer on a radar equipment that used a mini DC grid/regulator system. The regulator used 30% of the available power to keep the supply voltage at the required level.
              would you like more reasons the grid is AC and not DC?

              40

              • #
                Graeme#4

                Your explanation doesn’t cover the fact that most long-distance transmission lines use DC, due to their lower losses. And regulation and conversion is now a lot easier to handle with high-power switching high frequency switches. I was thinking of using DC as a way around the problems of frequency control and synchronisation.

                10

            • #
              Analitik

              Kind of makes me wonder if our entire grid shouldn’t eventually be DC.

              No. The deployment and maintenance costs are huge for large scale DC grids as inverters are needed everywhere that transformers are currently used and the cost differential is truly massive, especially when the relative lifespans are taken into account. Also, switching is greatly complicated with high voltage DC networks as there is no zero point to help kill to arc from initial disconnection and safety is an issue for the same reason.

              AC is fine when you don’t throw intermittent (& often unpredictable) generation into the mix

              20

          • #
            Tony Taylor

            Short dc links are mostly used to tie different frequencies together. Otherwise the cost of the conversion equipment (AC-DC) outweighs the savings you might make on running a dc line. Longer lines are a better fit for dc compared to ac because the savings you make on line running costs (one or two conductors compared with three, less pole superstructure, no capacitive charge current, no inductive reactance, less volt drop, no proximity effect, no skin effect) pay for the conversion electronics.

            20

            • #
              Graeme#4

              Ok, but if the entire system is DC, then you don’t need converters. Yes, I know the reasons why Tesla’s AC was preferred over Edison’s DC, but with modern DC switching technologies, perhaps it’s time for a re-think?

              10

            • #
              Analitik

              Try reading WHY I proposed a very short HVDC link

              00

        • #

          You see, here’s where they have their ‘fundament’ well and truly covered.

          Difficult for grids where consumers are given a choice for “green” energy.
          We should start with the ACT, where they have their electricity contracted to be “100% renewable”.

          The one thing that they do know is that the grid is ….. well, the grid.

          They can claim whatever they want, that, you know, we are supplied by 100% renewable power, safe in the knowledge that they will always get electricity supplied, because the grid is made up of every source of electrical power generation, and coal fired power makes up (around) 70%, and that they cannot, now, or ever, deliver just renewable power to the ‘punters’.

          The bulk of people have no idea where their power comes from, as long as it ….. comes out of the proverbial ‘hole in the wall’.

          If they believe what they are told, that they are getting 100% renewables, then because the power is always there, they believe it actually ….. is 100% renewable, and they will believe whatever their politician they voted for tells them, because they can’t be seen to not believe them.

          The politicians who say this can say whatever they like and get away it.

          Tony.

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          • #
            Analitik

            And that’s why I propose that the ACT grid should be connected through a link that can be controlled to ALWAYS output the power EQUAL to that being produced by their contracted renewable providers AT THAT POINT IN TIME. Then they get to experience the “effectiveness” of renewables (and any demand response and storage that they can implement)

            20

  • #
    Drapetomania

    el gordo
    July 17, 2020 at 8:30 am · Reply
    ‘Estimates by other organisations of the annual federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industry range from A$5 billion to A$12 billion a year.’ Conversation
    Most of the large fossil fuel industry pay no tax, just sayin’.

    That is correct.
    Primarily Due to offshore tax havens being used by the parent company for the Australian miner to pay back fake debts.
    But they do pay meagre royalties..
    But the question is, how many govt grants and subsidies etc eat up that royalty?
    The majority of proponents of renewables, paradoxically use fossil fuels for their own lifestyle and are oblivious to the waste and corruption and real costs associated with their thought bubble save the world ideas.
    They just don’t care when they can use terms like “clean energy”.
    So basically we are screwed either way.
    The advantage of fossil fuels in their lower cost to consumers in the real world..
    But fossil fuel companies are screwing us big time in a variety of ways.
    Probably as much as “clean energy companies”.

    30

    • #
      yarpos

      Are they really? Are we so dumb that we dont know everything has a cost? The Greenies beleive in Nirvana , most others not so much.

      40

  • #
    Rick Kinsman

    About 25 years ago I contacted BP Energy about a solar array. After talking thru the cost/benefits of it all it turned out it was a nil sum investment. It would take 15 years for any savings to cover costs, and the working life of the panels was about 15 years.
    When I said that was not a realistic option for me, I was told in all sincerity, “But you’ll be helping to save the planet!”
    I told the guy to shove it. It looks like nothing has changed – in fact things have got worse in that regard. Only the suckers buy in to this sort of snake oil eco-nazism.

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    • #
      Graeme#4

      The panels these days may outlast the Inverters. And most certainly should outlast any batteries if they are added. I’m hoping to pay back my solar system in ten years – should know whether this is feasible by next year.

      00

      • #
        Another Ian

        Re battery life

        I’ve noticed via machinery blogs in US that it isn’t uncommon there to get 8 – 10 years life from vehicle and machinery batteries.

        What we get here seems to have a guarantee life of about two years and to barely meet that.

        00

    • #
      RickWill

      I get 66c/kWh for exported power; have done for 10 years now. Will end in 4 years. My 3kW solar system cost $9000 plus change but the federal government threw in almost $3000. Took less than 5 years to pay back the cost to me.

      Since putting in a wood burner last year I have not paid anything for household energy; currently in surplus on electricity sales that continues to pay for gas used for cooking and water heating. Collecting wood occupies an hour or two each week in winter though.

      21

  • #
    David Maddison

    The Left keep telling us how ridiculously cheap unreliables now are and that market forces will drive reliable producers out of business.

    That being the case, why do we need legislated subsidies and market distortions?

    Eliminate the subsidies and let market forces go to it!

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    • #
      el gordo

      Governments will still chip in some taxpayers money, but generally speaking the free market level playing field is upon us.

      https://reneweconomy.com.au/nsw-first-renewable-zone-attracts-stunning-27gw-of-solar-wind-storage-proposals-82163/

      Its not set in concrete yet, so I’m hoping the renewable zones don’t come to fruition and instead they build a coal fired Hele at Dubbo.

      31

      • #
        Dennis

        Installed Capacity or real world operations Capacity Factor?

        30

        • #
          el gordo

          That is their main problem.

          ‘The maximum possible energy output of a given installation assumes its continuous operation at full nameplate capacity over the relevant period.’ wiki

          Which is why I’m arguing for a Hele in Dubbo, with a huge untapped coal mine just down the road. At $2 billion startup cost, capacity factor is assured.

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    • #
      Dennis

      Remind the fools that most of the electricity here is generated using fossil fuels.

      90

    • #
      Deano

      The ABC were running stories about a year ago claiming the cost of building and maintaining renewables was now cheaper than fossil fuel systems. The new coal fired stations being currently built by profit motivated businesses knock that claim flat on its back.

      40

  • #
    Peter C

    With some battery storage the solar panel owners can still recoup their investment.
    Solar energy harvested during the day can be used in the evening, saving 25-30C/kWh. Don’t waste it by exporting during the middle of the day. Use it yourselves.

    32

    • #
      Analitik

      The cycling will kill the battery before its cost is recouped.

      90

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Absolutely! It’s marginal to expect to pay back a home solar system over its lifetime, and adding short-lifetime storage batteries to the cost definitely makes it a losing proposition.

        50

      • #
        ivan

        That depends on the type of battery. If you use junk electric car batteries then yes, cycling will kill them rather quickly. On the other hand if you use high capacity (big) deep cycle lead acid batteries housed in a proper outside storage room (correct ventilation) and maintain them correctly they will last for years. I know of a set that were installed in 1999 that are still providing their rated output today.

        50

        • #
          Chad

          I have some experience with quality deep cycle lead cells in industrial situations,.. correctly installed and maintained. Daily cycling type usage would cause even the best to have seriously depleted capacity within 2 years.
          You have to have a seriously oversized capacity to ensure you never get below 505 SOC if you want any chance of reasonable life.
          Lithium / LiFe is a much more cost effective solution, but still struggles to offer a realistic payback.
          Salvaged EV packs are probably the best value option , but are difficult to source in Au and probably voids any house insurance as well as breaking electrical installation codes in most states.

          50

    • #
      RickWill

      A solar/battery system that would run a home with modest demand currently costs $18k:
      http://sunnyafternoons.com.au/specials/promo?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9IGszfHT6gIVCB4rCh3kBgWSEAAYAiAAEgL4wPD_BwE

      You could reliable pull 6kWh from this system probably without grid connection. So saving in power $2/day and saving in connection $1/day. So total daily saving $3. Hence requires 6,000 days to pay off; about 17 years. Under the operating conditions the gear might last that long if batteries and electronics located in a well ventilated, shaded location.

      The only place it is likely viable right now is in SA; where payback could be $4/day giving payback in 12 years.

      It is certainly worth considering. There is a tipping point with this where those who cannot afford this option are left to pay the ever spiralling distribution costs.

      I would buy a small generator so I could top up the battery on those few days in a decade when the sun is not seen much for a few days in a row.

      30

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Thanks for the figures Rick. On top of a solar system purchase, there would be little likelihood of ever paying the entire system off in its lifetime.
        Also may not be able to run a residence reverse cycle air con system, plus oven or kettle, on 6kW, on a hot night.

        50

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Or start a washing machine !
          I lived on solar for about 3 years.
          And always had to start the gennie to do the washing
          :-(

          22

      • #
        Chad

        The only place it is likely viable right now is in SA; where payback could be $4/day giving payback in 12 years.

        I may be unusual, but i have never lived in one place for 10 years !

        11

      • #
        Chad

        I would buy a small generator so I could top up the battery on those few days in a decade when the sun is not seen much for a few days in a row.

        So you would be living in LaLa land then ?
        What about those dayd when its not peak summer, cloudless, etc and the MAX that system can output is 2kW or so ? ..10 kWh total for the day, ….day after day after day…. you know, a REAL world .!
        At best, a 14 kWh battery wont give you much comfort through a 16 hr winter night.
        I suggest you plan on a bigger generator !

        40

        • #
          RickWill

          I did state a “modest demand”. If the demand is higher then you need a bigger system and payback probably a little shorter.

          Demand depends on where you live. I have never operated an air-conditioner overnight in Melbourne.

          You can buy most appliances with soft start. Our washing machine is soft start. It is the second one and it is now 10 years old. The last one was about 15 years old when it started leaking.

          Inverters have short duration overload capacity typically twice their continuous rating. Victron inverters are well designed.

          In summer there is considerably more energy available on a hot sunny day. In Melbourne my on-grid inverter does not cut out till after 8pm. Family in Brisbane only use solar hot water in summer – the bottled boost gas gets turned off.

          Running off grid is getting close to being the economic solution in parts of Australia.

          00

          • #
            Chad

            Running off grid is getting close to being the economic solution in parts of Australia

            “Confirmation Bias” ..Rick.
            You have bought a system , so you have bought into the belief.
            Others,..have different experience.
            …like myself, have bought a system,..but have not bought the belief.
            Data and experience convinces me that it is far from being a good financial decision.

            20

            • #
              RickWill

              My on-grid system has paid for itself twice over. Best investment I have made in the last 10 or so years.

              I also have an off-grid system that has been running for 9 years to get an idea of the operating life of LiFePO4 batteries – still going strong supplying average of 2.5kWh/day. I was one of the first household systems to use this battery technology. It has paid for itself already as well.

              10

            • #
              RickWill

              Data and experience convinces me that it is far from being a good financial decision.

              How about some detail rather than the throw away line. If you live in Tasmania than solar is not going to be much good! I could have told you that before you spent the money.

              This link shows my current position with energy charges. Top is electricity and bottom is gas. I transfer from electricity balance to pay for gas:
              https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg2JbHTIga3QGNgEX
              Balance will get a little lower with the next gas bill but then it will start to rise rapidly as we get more sunshine. I expect I will come out with increasing balance year-on-year now that I have the wood heater for warming the place. This is the first full year I have it running.

              00

      • #
        RickWill

        This article covers return for each city in Australia:
        https://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/is-home-solar-battery-storage-worth-it-april-2019-update/

        The table below shows payback periods on batteries for each capital city (payback times averaged across all three battery sizes/products). The nation-wide average payback period for a brand new solar-plus-storage system was just under 10 years, with payback periods for customers on time of use electricity tariffs being shorter than for flat rate tariffs. Adelaide, Perth & Sydney (7, 7.5 & 8 years, respectively) were the most attractive places to install a battery, while Melbourne & Hobart (about 11 years each) were the least attractive.

        If you are in Adelaide, a battery would be a very good investment. The analysis works on the approach of staying connected. That possibly gives increased security but you are still exposed to the service charge and FIT.

        Fundamentally, it is lower cost for a stand alone residence to make and store their own solar energy than get any weather dependent output plus storage from the grid. I do not see Australia changing tack.

        Anyone in their own stand alone residence with savings looking for an investment should consider household energy – good insulation, easy control of sunlight, efficient appliances with soft start, solar hot water and solar/battery.

        I put the chances of getting lower cost grid power in Australia at zero.

        10

        • #
          Chad

          Rick,
          Really,? ..using a Solar sales organisation as a reference ? No bias there !
          Facts.
          NSW coast, Batemans bay. Plenty of sunshine… i suspect more than NSW average .
          $5k , 2.5 kW system 7 yrs old ( installed before i moved in)
          Max output 1.8kW, ..7.8 kWh /day , mid day, high summer..
          ..this time of year, lucky to get 2kwh on a cloudless day.
          The system has been inspected and confirmed “ operating normally ”
          On an annual basis i estimate ,…( gave up trying to do the monitoring).. an average daily output around 3.0kWh.
          Even at todays $0.3 /kw power price , that is not a good return (<$1.0/day )
          And i cannot imagine the economic thinking behind the original installation when power prices were much lower ?…..it must have been a very convincing salesman !
          Rick, you are not exactly very forthcomming with details of your system, size, cost actual output, location, etc ?

          30

          • #
            Chad

            Rick, sorry imissed your post 18:2 where you mention your $0.66 FIT, which explains your satisfaction with your situation.
            It may also explain the decision behind the original installation of my system, but of course that rate is only applicable to the original buyer.
            My current FIT is 12c/kW, but i have yet to manage to generate any surplus power !

            30

            • #
              Graeme#4

              A very interesting discussion Rick and Chad. I only obtain 7c/kW feedback, so it doesn’t really enter into any cost calculations. Also I rarely run my air con during winter, but it runs almost 24/7 during summer. It’s pretty clear that where you are located has a major impact on the system economics.

              10

              • #
                Chad

                It’s pretty clear that where you are located has a major impact on the system economics.

                Certainly…and not just from a pure theoretical Insolation measure.
                Obviously if you are on the south slope of a hill, you sun exposure is reduced noticeably, but even my flat coastal location has its variables.
                This time of year my neighbours tall gum trees, keep the sun off my panels until after 10am, and likewise in the evening , western trees cut it off early.
                For full sun exposure , you would have to live in a pretty barren area.
                Many systems still use a single multi panel inverter, where a small shadow on one panel , pulls down the output from ALL panels

                00

  • #
    David Maddison

    Aren’t calculations in Australia for solar panel economics (for subsidy calculations and return on investment etc.) generally based on extremely generous estimates of solar panel life such as 25 years when 15 years or less is more realistic? Similarly for windmills.

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    • #
      Slithers

      It is a lot worse than that. Replacement panels are few and far between.
      The Local Bowling club has three systems installed at different times all three have needed replacement panels at a cost of over 300% the original panels. The initial panels cannot now be obtained, so when the next panel fails that entire system fails, only 32 panels so no big deal, BUT they are out of warranty and just 12 years old.
      Warranty did not include hail damage and neither did the insurance!
      Go Figure who has to pay the difference?

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      Graeme#4

      My REC solar panels have a 25-year linear power output warranty, with a maximum degression performance of 0.5% pa, giving 86% power output at year 25. But the inverter only has a 10-year warranty, so I’m more concerned about inverter failure.

      10

      • #
        Slithers

        Do you have an insurance policy that covers the supplier being unable to honor that warranty?

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        • #
          Graeme#4

          No, but who takes out insurance for any warranty? Do house builders and car manufacturers always honour their warranties? Whenever we purchase anything, we always take a risk that the warranty won’t be honoured.

          00

          • #
            Graeme#4

            And I’m currently waiting to see if a travel insurance company will honour their warranty, because of the money I have lost when some travel organisations didn’t honour their warranties. It’s life you know…

            00

      • #
        Chad

        Graeme#4
        July 17, 2020 at 2:52 pm ·
        My REC solar panels have a 25-year linear power output warranty, with a maximum degression performance of 0.5% pa, giving 86% power output at year 25

        But who checks it, and how is it checked ?
        Has it ever been measured, ?
        It likely a “manufacturers” warranty ( ?? Chinese ?), panel warranty… but you will have to deal with the local supplier/installer.
        Even if you got free replacement panels, good luck with avoiding the costs of removal and reinstallation .
        Recent example was the Tesla owner whose LED headlights failed after 3 years. The Manufacturer (Hella) confirmed a 5 yr replacement warranty, but TESLA, the supplier refused to honor it , siteing their own 3 year warranty, and charging $5600 for 2 headlights. !

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        • #
          Graeme#4

          Chad, as I’ve just responded to Slithers, every time we purchase anything, we hope that the supplier or manufacturer will honour their warranty if something goes wrong. Mostly they do, sometimes they don’t. We don’t have a crystal ball for this. I think most of us have had to fight somebody over a warranty claim At some stage. It’s just part of life, and solar systems are no different.

          10

    • #
      RickWill

      If you get a payback in 5 years then you are making money from year 6.

      Panels built to the usual standard are designed to take impact from a 25mm hail stone with direct impact at terminal velocity. Installing at an angle reduces the risk of hail damage. If the area is prone to large hail stones then it would be wise to get insurance cover for such circumstances.

      There are still solar panels producing required output after 40 years. But life is a function of materials used and where panel operates. LG panels are guaranteed for 25 years with a loss of output at 0.6% per year.

      My on-grid panels show no measurable loss after 10 years. My 9yo off-grid panels from China show some coloration in the backing panel insulation but the output is still at rating.

      11

  • #
    Penguinite

    Oh, the irony! Mr Prius objecting to the charge. AC/DC???

    50

  • #
    John

    Some years ago I did a full financial analysis on a proposed rooftop solar system, including grid connection and feed in tariffs.
    I did not proceed because it was a “dog” of an investment!
    It had a simple payback of over 13 years – well past the expected useful life of panel performance.
    I have recently negotiated a set of favorable rates on an energy plan (after threatening to change providers).
    Recalculating the original proposal on tody’s rates I find that they simple payback period is now 20 years – an even worse proposition.
    The MIRR is -3.85% and the Net Present Value is -$1,192 over 10 years of positive and negative cash flows.
    All this means is that rooftop solar proposals have never been a real “investment” in the true sense of the word and for most end up being a money pit!
    I am also convinced that most buyers don’t know how to assess an investment in a professional manner.

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    • #
      Dennis

      Several years in a Sydney inner city suburb the owners of a four apartment unit block they were having converted into two townhouses requested a solar with battery storage system be installed. The electrician owner of the business contracted to replace electricity wiring and boards advised against what he considered to be a not cost effective expense.

      The reasoning and cost calculations were discussed with the owners but they decided to go ahead, they wanted to help the environment.

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    • #
      Graeme#4

      John, the newer solar panel suppliers are saying that their panels now have a longer lifetime. In any case, I believe inverter replacement may be the main issue, not the panels.

      00

      • #
        Another Ian

        Comment from this part of outback is that solar works fine for bore pumping but panels only last about 10 years

        10

  • #
    Stuart

    I could not believe that I saw this on the ABC website I think they made a mistake (or they are showing that reporters at that organisation dont have a clue and just write it because …Solar Power ).
    I shared it with a comment “Sucked In!”
    I can well remember being vilified years ago when I pointed this very issue out, an electronics engineer no less told me I had no idea what I was talking about.
    I also saw an article in the weekend AFR about a wind farm complaining that the cost of complying with AEMO standards had changed sine The AEMO had re visited the regulations on stability, between the lines I read AEMO couldnt hide the truth anymore.

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    • #
      Dennis

      And now according to ruineconomy “spinning machines” will be added to the “firming”, yet another add on to try and stabilise the grid destabilised by renewables.

      There will soon be more investment monies in fixing the problems than in “farms” with feeder transmission line costs.

      40

  • #

    This was all entirely predictable.

    What needs to also occur is drop the feed in payment back to around 4c per kW. This reflects reality rather than some sort of ridiculous 16c per kW which I get (I get minimal money back as the pool I have and use in the house swallows up most of the power)

    The subsidies need to go and then solar will finally stand on its own two feet, and as you point out, will be non viable unless somebody is essentially off grid and has a battery, or a backup generator.

    Solar will collapse in the next few years as govts have to force the issue, otherwise the grid collapse due to huge surges, will make life very difficult for all. And govts of all stripes will find it impossible to support it.

    Renewables should never have been allowed on this scale. Its a classic cart before the horse situation. Large scale generators need to be cut off when surges occur, not as under the RET having gas and coal generators having to cut back.

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    • #
      el gordo

      ‘Renewables should never have been allowed on this scale.’

      Totally agree, pure folly built on the back of a failed hypothesis, but I support renewables on outback stations and mine sites, to cut back on diesel power.

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      • #
        Analitik

        Have you checked the economics of the installations at King Island, Coober Pedy and Flinders Island?
        YOU CAN’T BECAUSE HYDRO TASMANIA WON’T RELEASE THE FIGURES (they manage the Coober Pedy installation as well as having deployed it)

        How can you support the installations without knowing the true cost?

        Alice Springs has invested heavily in renewables (and fancy new “firming” plants) to cut back on diesel power. So far, it’s a big fail

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      • #

        El Gordo,
        Remote mine sites are ideal for solar. They already have the generators there which can supply all the time and can kick in within seconds.

        Hence it just becomes a question of the fuel and maintenance savings.

        I am happy for them to use it.

        But agree when it comes to large complex grids only very small proportions of solar or wind can be used.

        The other lie often propagated is that gas is ideal to back up solar. But gas generation is actually two different things. First is the turbine which is driven and produces at about 35% efficiency, but with a combined cycle with heat recovery this jumps to 65%. The latter is more expensive but the overall power bill is much less due to the high efficiency.

        But the devil is in the detail. The combined cycle plant needs to run all the time, albeit at lower levels, to stay warm and deliver the efficiencies. It cannot switch on and off, like the turbine plant can.

        So what you end up with is a proliferation of inefficient turbine gas plants with high cost power from the low efficiency, and the low usage (hence high capital charges). These entrench high power prices.

        It would be far better to have a small amt of solar and a large amount of efficient combined cycle plants. Cynically the emissions would be much lower than now, but whenever one mentions gas the Greenies have heart failure, as do our hopeless politicians. And the gas companies have acted monopolistically and kept prices high by reducing supply. Again higher power prices….

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        • #
          el gordo

          We are agreed, small is best, but with Premier Gladys pushing renewable zones it will take a minor miracle to turn the juggernaut around.

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          • #
            Another Ian

            Well there is that song

            “Give me 40 acres and I’ll turn this thing around”

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          • #
            Analitik

            You need to assess the delivered cost of the fuel saved vs the capital and maintenance cost of the solar panels and inverters before you can declare it is worthwhile. It’s conceptually a good idea but so is renewable energy in general.

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        • #
          Chad

          Aussie, 2 questions..
          1). Why not gas fueled piston driven generators as used in SA ?
          Quick start, economical, cleaner than diesel, etc. ?
          2). Generally why not conventional steam driven generators but burning gas instead of coal ?

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          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Chad:
            the diesel generators in SA start up on diesel, then when hot switch to gas. Yes, lower emissions than straight diesels, even lower CO2 (possibly) because the higher operating temperature boosts output ( Carnot diagram ).
            They need a little time to start up but their more rugged construction reduces the down-time for maintenance compared to those ‘peaking plants’ beloved of the greenies. The latter are OCGTs and have poor reliability (I have seen 85% downtime but cannot vouch for the correctness).

            The older plant that SA is planning to shut down is “conventional steam driven generators but burning gas instead of coal”. Rather low efficiency hence higher running cost, not helped by the high price of gas.

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            • #
              Analitik

              On the plus side for OCGT, there will be a lot of cheap jet engines available soon with the downturn in air travel

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    • #
      Dennis

      If the system was not broken, reliably supplied 24/7 at much lower pricing than renewables do now, electricity baseload and peak demand, why change, power stations are proven technology?

      Answer: political manipulation and related agenda.

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    John Watt

    This situation arises because of a lack of supply system planning that has overtaken the electricity industry following privatisation of chunks of electricity supply system infrastructure.
    The lack of overall supervision from coal bunker to cooktop means that demand and supply are not cost-effectively matched. The introduction of subsidised solar means that a supply system designed for öne-way-flow” from powerstation to consumer now has to cope with solar generated energy coming back the “wrong” way. Desirably an effective planning regime would have recognised the impact of subsidised solar and acted long ago. I understand AEMO is now on the case but the removal of effective State based planning as a result of privatisation simultaneous with the growth of subsidy fertilised solar has created a problem. One solution may be “community” batteries in the solar panel hotspots.

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    • #
      • #
        Slithers

        Yes Batteries, lots of them and big ones are the answer. Look at the one in SA. it can deliver all the power needed for about 30 minutes.
        What? The wind can stop for days and the Sun does not always shine, especially at night. But its free energy!
        /sarc off

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        • #
          Dennis

          Good investment for wealth creation purposes.

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        • #
          David Maddison

          Slithers, I don’t know where your figure of all the power for 30 mins comes from.

          It can only supply 70MW for ten minutes for 11.7MWh of energy for grid stability services

          It can also provide 30MW for 3 hours for 90MWh of energy for the purpose of electricity arbitrage. It buys electricity when it’s cheap and sells it when it’s expensive.

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          • #
            Slithers

            Silly me I read the prospectus about how much power it could provide.

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            • #
              John Watt

              The community battery I had in mind was a collection point for about 80 sets of solar panels. Something that could be located near the neighbourhood distribution transformer which typically serves about 140 homes. Mr Musk’s battery in SA is a different beast designed to serve a quite different purpose.

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      • #
        Graeme#4

        And in WA, which already has adequate supplies of cheap energy.

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  • #
    raygun

    Power grids only operate AC voltages beginning with 120,000 then stepping down by transformer to voltages of 12,000 and 1,200 volts, all with three phase lines. PV cells only produce DC voltages, unsuitable for AC unless a converter is used. AC appliances and systems don’t work well with DC current.
    If it weren’t for tax payer subsidies, PV panels wouldn’t sell at all.

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    • #
      Analitik

      Err no. There are step up transformers at the power stations to feed in to the grid. The “beginning” has voltage between 2 and 24 kV depending on the plant

      And there is nothing wrong with inverter technology to convert DC to AC as it was used for HVDC interconnectors between AC grids long before renewables started to game the system.

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      • #
        Chad

        Analitik
        July 17, 2020 at 2:30 pm ·

        And there is nothing wrong with inverter technology to convert DC to AC as it was used for HVDC interconnectors between AC grids long before renewables started to game the system

        Except for their huge cost , losses, and limited practical distance.

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        • #
          Analitik

          The use of HVDC is to PREVENT the huge losses that occur over a very long AC link, dealing with the instability as the quarter wavelength is approached.

          Yes, they are costly to deploy and maintain but they do work over very long distances and are effective and practical in specific circumstances.

          BassLlink is a good local example and has only gained a bad name due to the distorted incentives of the Gillard carbon tax which encouraged overly aggressive arbitrage.

          Don’t judge a technology before you properly understand its strengths, weaknesses and intended use else you’ll fall into the same trap as those advocating renewables.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    The renewables scam is never going to end unless subsidies and legislated market distortions cease and market forces are allowed to operate.

    Let greens buy unreliables at market rate.

    Let rational people buy reliables at market rate.

    What’s the problem?

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    • #
      Dennis

      Socialism, globalism, new world order politics.

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      • #
        el gordo

        Its my understanding that renewable subsidies will be phased out from the end of 2020, which puts us in lockstep with Beijing. China’s renewable subsidies are being eliminated and they will leave it to the free market to decide.

        ‘The government is also trying to reduce the number of new projects that are eligible for subsidies, as it wants them to be able to compete against dominant coal power on price alone. Subsidies for onshore wind will be phased out after this year, with offshore wind following from 2022.’

        Energy Vice

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        • #
          PeterS

          I suppose then the end of the world due to global warming has been called off. I wonder how long before the public wakes up to the fact both major parties are telling fibs about how good it is to reduce our emissions.

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          • #
            David Maddison

            PeterS, think of how stupid and ignorant the average voter is. I have little hope of them developing awareness and we have no leader like Trump either. In fact we have no worthy leaders with any chance of getting significant power or influence.

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            • #
              el gordo

              Our political system is not a republic and charismatic leaders cannot emerge.

              The voting public are not stupid or ignorant, the people have been misled by the MSM and once they are told the truth they will laugh out loud.

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              • #
                David Maddison

                el gordo, there is little excuse for people to claim they have been misled and didn’t know the truth. Yes, politicians and the legacy media lie all the time in an attempt to mislead people but the truth is also easy to find. There can be no excuse for not knowing the truth.

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            • #
              Another Ian

              “think of how stupid and ignorant the average voter is.”

              Don’t forget George Carlin’s comment

              “Well half of them are worse than that”

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          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Yes it’s been called off because of the real Covid 19 Pandemic crisis.
            It has given the public a taste of what a real crisis is.

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  • #
    Wayne Job

    Solar panels are a hazardous waste both in mining manufacture and disposal. In vic most people now have smart meters these can be controlled remotely this can solve the panel problem
    producing unnecessary power. Disposal is a big hassle, when I purchased my property it had eight solar panels on a rear verandah. I had to demolish it for a new extension I removed the panels and had a friend with a backhoe dig an 8ft deep hole and buried them.

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    • #
      Chad

      Wayne, most “smart meters” cannot be remote controlled, though AEMO would like them to be, and have installed many such meters in VIC.
      Most “smart meters” are simply digital , multi rate, units that still can only be read manually.!
      And anyway, simply cutting off the solar feed back is not all that is needed.
      The AEMO are considering controlling domestic INVERTERS to completely shut down panel output, in order to boost grid demand during low demand periods. !
      some (few) inverters already have that functionality, but most will need to be replaced with “Smart” inverters.

      PS im not sure you should be admitting on a public blog that you have burried Hazardous Waste on your property ??

      20

      • #
        David Maddison

        Chad, my understanding of smart meters used in Australia and especially Victoriastan, is that they can be and are all read remotely and power can also be remotely turned off.

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        • #
          Chad

          You are misinformed !
          SOME new smartmeters have reporting and remote control functionality,….but most existing ones do not..

          10

        • #
          RickWill

          David
          You are reliably informed. All Victorian smart meters permit remote control of service:
          https://www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/get-help-with-your-bills/smart-meters-and-how-they-work

          Cheaper costs when moving house – Power companies can now remotely turn power on or off, which means that disconnection and reconnection fees have dropped from about $25 to between $5 and $8.

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          • #
            Chad

            But Victoria is not representitive of the entire country.
            I guess its all in the definition of “Smart” and how metering technology has developed over the past 10 or so years.
            What was one termed a “smart meter” ,..able to record multiple tarrif periods , feed back from solar, log interval usage , and facilitate data downloads without having to read the digits,….is now considered just a “digital” meter.

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  • #
    neil

    back in 2009 I started working as a project manager for a solar provider and it didn’t take long for me to become bewildered by the economics of the Rudd solar scam. At the time Rudd was offering an approx $2500 rebate if you installed solar and 30c/kW/h feed in tariff while electricity providers where paying 6c for coal power and retailed it for about 30c.

    Despite the rebate it still cost several thousand dollars to install solar so only well off people could afford it and you had to own your home. The effect of the providers having to pay five times the going rate for feed in power drove the base price of electricity up. So the people who could afford solar could offset their power bill with feed in tariffs and the people who couldn’t had to pay more for their electricity so the providers could maintain profits. Effectively the rich paid less and the poor paid more.

    The whole scam was a form of middle class welfare paid for by the lower socio-ecomonic class.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Welfare for the Woke
      Paid for by those who are on low incomes.
      How wonderful for a labor party government.
      Traitors of the working people of Australia.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Pretty much says it all. The only reason why anyone would really use solar panels at home is to reduce the cost of power and where possible make a profit. It has nothing to do with climate change. Now if only both major parties admitted to that we could move on to the real issue; how to reduce the cost of power for everyone so the nation can be more competitive. I thought that was the plan by PM Morrison but it appears he speaks with forked tongue like the other side.

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  • #
    MudCrab

    Given that solar panels have a finite life and that they will require specialist disposal, I for one would like to see a Disposal Levy against anyone who owns them.

    Got to start preparing for safe disposal eventually.

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  • #
    Earl

    A mate called me today, to give a hand, when the lock down ends, to fit new sails to his yacht. He describes his boat as, a hole in the water, into which he pours money.
    He is quite a philosopher, and says that one of the great paradox of humanity, is why something that is propelled by an energy source which is free, costs so much to maintain..,

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    • #
      David Maddison

      The wind is free. Collecting it is anything but. It is 1) diffuse 2) unreliable and 3) variable all of which make it a bad energy source to power electrical grids. It’s OK for recreational purposes like sail boats or kites or also extremely remote telecommunications or similar installations or places like Antarctica.

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  • #
    Another Ian

    Prepare for the days of no fossil electricity

    Select your manual/femual powered back-up washing machine

    https://www.oldewash.com/

    00

  • #
    James Murphy

    We’ll never, ever in our lifetime recoup our investment, the return is just not there

    This fool deserves what he gets, more, even. Who in their right minds would consider such a system as an actual investment in the sense of making a profit?

    Solar panels are basically household appliances. Who buys a hot water heater, toaster, or an iron for their home thinking they can make a profit from it? For that matter, who, except in rare cases, buys a family or personal car with the idea of making a profit on it?

    The marketing scheme was only ever “make your electricity bills cheaper”, not “buy now, and make a profit”. Those held up by the ABC and others as shining examples of how to make money from home electricity generation are few and far between. it wouldn’t be newsworthy if everyone was doing it.

    I understand it is possible to save money, indeed, have a positive ROI for home solar, but for the vast majority, it will not happen because they won’t want to, or cant afford to fully commit to being so energy efficient that they break even, let alone make a profit. Buying solar panels and changing to energy efficient lightbulbs is about as far as most people will go.

    Then of course, if one is a taxpayer, and one does find themselves making a profit from home solar, are they still really making a profit, out have they just paid themselves via a very inefficient money transfer system?

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  • #
    Serge Wright

    This discussion goes beyond solar panels and it ends with the grid itself. Essentially, after years of trying to kill the grid, along with the people who depend on the grid, by making it absurdly expensive and way too unstable to manage, finally the energy operators themselves realise that the grid is about to go into cardiac arrest and needs saving by injecting more taxpayer funds.

    There are two important points to take away here. Firstly, what other outcome did anyone expect ?. RE opponents have been warning about this situation for many years and in other high solar concentration grids around the world, such as California, this scenario has been an issue for some time, with no easy fix. Basically we have been marching towards the cliff edge in full denial of the drop, pretending that the drop will vanish by the time we get there. This is a common theme with all green solutions. The second point is what comes next ?. Ok, we understand that these guys want more free money for augmentation, but since we have now been officially duped at massive cost, we need to see the details on these augmentation solutions before signing up. At first glance, it would seem that they want taxpayers to stump up for more and more grid scale batteries that are hideously expensive, only last 8 years, provide tiny amounts of power by comparison to a coal or gas plant, and more importantly they will increase the chance of a system black, by allowing more reliance on intermittent energy.

    30

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Thorium nuclear power plants
      Lots of them
      That solves the problem
      And leaves the Greenists gasping in total incomprehension.

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      • #
        James Murphy

        Yeah, well, the word “nuclear” already has them clutching at their pearls, so I don’t think there is any point in trying to convince them of anything – might as well enjoy their anti-science outrage instead!

        Bill Gates seems to have a generally positive reputation in the wider community when it comes to things high-tech, maybe he should come to Australia and spruik his nuclear reactor company, TerraPower. If Elon Musk could be convinced to tell us how wonderful nuclear energy is too, we’d have state and federal politicians climbing over each other to do his bidding.

        Personally, I’m suspicious of Gates’ motivations with regards to a Wuhan Flu vaccine, and think Musk is drastically over-hyped as a “visionary”, but if I was to demand they be un-personned because of that, then I’d be as bad as the people I despise.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    I assume the grid could be saved if all domestic solar systems had batteries and all power produced was used by the household and not exported?

    If that is the case, all new installs should have batteries and there should be no taxpayer subsidies or other legislated market distortions.

    21

    • #
      Chad

      David, if everybody with solar simply used it all , that would certainly reduce the midday dip in grid demand caused by solar flooding the grid….but..
      …if too many people adopt solar, ultimately there will be minimum daytime demand that dips below critical levels causing blackouts for those still grid dependent .(industry, retail, utility services, etc.
      At some stat the maximum total roof top solar will have to be limited to maintain sufficient grid loading, hence the comments from the AEMO about finding ways of remotely shutting down domestic inverters completely…not just export prevention.

      10

  • #
    Robin

    I bought solar 12 months ago supposedly with 20 c per kWh for grid input which quickly became 10 c and now is 8 c. However our costs in SA are 40 c per kWh so anything we save during the day helps.

    I’m not going to pay anyone to accept input kWh. I’d prefer to switch off.

    20

  • #
    Jay

    Most people are aware that the costs for both solar and wind generation are the same for both full production and no production. The same goes for Hydro power. What people often don’t realize is that both Coal and nuclear power generation are much the same. Both of them become less efficient is they are throttled back. The costs for the most part are also fixed costs. The power distribution grid costs the same regardless if it transmitting at 100% capacity or 10% capacity.
    The power plant is there regardless if it transmitting at 100% capacity or 10% capacity as is the mining equipment. Power plants need to be fully laboured at all times and the workforce is the same regardless of how much power is produced. Most of the maintenance is the same regardless of the amount of power produced. The same applies for gas fields and pipelines. Pricing schedules often do not match actual costs.

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    • #

      Indeed Jay, so right. I do remind people that while Fuel costs go down with no product, the maintenance, interest payments, wages, insurance, stay the same or may even rise.

      We are doubling the infrastructure and hoping it will provide the same product even cheaper than it used too. Like magic…

      30

  • #
    Steve Richards

    They could solve the high voltage problem on the grid due to too many rooftop solar systems by modifying each inverter to cap its voltage output in a centrally controlled way. This mod could be done alongside the remote switch off mod.

    10

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    As always, reality is what it is and isn’t what it isn’t. Nothing can change that no matter how advantages for it to be otherwise. Hence, defining a word differently than the thing to which it references does not change the thing. Also changing the name of a thing to what it isn’t also does not change the thing.

    Sadly there is a wide spread belief that it is possible to get away with such attempts can be accomplished by human sacrifice without limit. The Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas would be amazed at the level of human sacrifice contemplated. It is the human sacrifice of those who are productive of the values necessary to sustain and advance human life. Who, if successfully sacrificed, guarantees the demise of everyone else in the society that condones such human sacrifice. Such is the demise of every civilization, great or small, that ever fell into that deadly trap. See the history of the rise and fall of civilization since the first civilization as instructive examples.

    “Oh”, you say, “they meant well.” Did they? Think again. Test it once, it is a mistake. Test it twice, and it was done in “hopes” of correcting the mistake. Test it again, it was done BECAUSE of the resultant poverty, despair, destruction, and death. They didn’t want to live at your expense. They wanted you to die in the most excruciating way they can manage. Your pain and suffering is their Joy. They did not and do not mean well by any rational standard of meaning well. Not even for themselves. Their goal is, at most to, be the last to die.

    Pessimistic? No. Simply identifying things as they are. Can the final end be escaped? Not if we continue as we are.

    10

  • #
    observa

    The problem with the unreliables is we didn’t mandate a level playing field from the start. Namely any tenderer of electrons to the communal grid must reasonably guarantee them (ie short of unforeseen mechanical breakdown) along with FCAS 24/7/365 or keep them. Farewell rooftop solar unless the homeowner installed battery storage to facilitate that but they know that’s uneconomic and they’d have none to export anyway. That’s the great lie we live with at present with this State sponsored dumping that normally the ACCC would be prosecuting over.

    Without storage the unreliables are useless but homeowners do have a need for storing energy in the form of hot water whereby up to a third of their electricity consumption is used for that purpose in an all electric household. Simply use a solar diverter controller to heat an inexpensive electric storage HWS and when that’s done use any surplus to heat or cool the home during the day for evening comfort. The rate of return will be the going flat rate for power as there won’t be any off peak with the demise of coal fired power.

    20

  • #
    Sunny Boy.

    Well I’ll be spending on a battery and inverter setup before I spend one cent paying for the privilege of getting a few cents for my solar generated power.
    Tell ‘em they’re dreamin’. LOL

    00

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      observa

      You can if you want even dearer power but going all electric like I described will be a much cheaper option in the long run. Too much emotion in our power bills already without more of it so don’t get angry and shoot yourself in the foot.

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    Gordon

    I have a solar rooftop system here in Vermont USA, which I bought 11 years ago, and I’m pretty sure it has paid for itself. But it isn’t an electricity generator; it makes hot water.
    I used to believe the hype about photovoltaics, but also know a bit about electricity and the grid, so I was skeptical about their long term value.
    But I went to an energy expo (the last time I met Burnie Sandoz, as everybody in Vt. has) and saw a solar hot water system that won me over.
    It uses an array of glass thermos-type tubes (outer and inner wall with vacuum in between) and partially evacuated copper pipes with some water sealed in, which picks up the heat and boils in a header at the top of the array, transferring heat to a glycol loop.
    Of course the array, tank, and controller are all made in Chiner.
    The tank has an electric and a hydronic heater to back up the solar heat, and the control box runs the pump and scheduled back-up power intervals.
    I set it up with a switch and relay, so I can select the hydronic (oil-fired baseboard hot water heat) system to augment the solar energy, or else use electricity, as I do in summer when the oil-burner is switched off.
    It’s been very reliable, though the electric elements didn’t last forever, and I had to use ebay to find a 240V heating element with British pipe threads.
    I think people ought to look into these, as hot water uses a lot of energy. I Never liked the idea of an inverter, because as an SWL and AM radio listener, I know they create too much interference for my liking.
    The solar array does not have a best-by date, and I have no batteries to deal with.
    It works so well, no wonder nobody is promoting them. Even in Vermont, it at least offsets the energy cost of hot water. In winter, most of the snow falls between the tubes, and bright sun still produces lots of heat.
    And I didn’t vote for Boinee!

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    Mark Cooper

    This is why I’m putting in my solar and windmill with batteries and NOT to the grid only to power my home and I have my own water supply bugger the rich, I will have 100% of my own power !

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