Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia using less ‘baseload’ energy – largely thanks to solar panels

more than half the cut in power use was due to photovoltaic solar panels, solar hot water systems and energy savings programs in Victoria and New South Wales that encourage use of more efficient lightbulbs and appliances.

 the cost of solar energy and energy-efficiency schemes was modest compared with other factors pushing up electricity prices……

Solar panels linked to lower power usageIllawarra Mercury, ADAM MORTON, 20 Jun, 2012  SCHEMES encouraging people to install solar panels and save energy have cut household power consumption and will restrict the pace at which electricity bills increase in coming years, a new analysis has found.

While solar incentive schemes have been criticised as an expensive way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an industry analysis has found they have led to a reduction in the amount of fossil fuel electricity drawn from the national power grid.

It suggests it is likely no new baseload power plants will be needed over the next decade.

Electricity consumption fell 3.2 per cent over the three years to 2011, ending years of dramatic increases and bucking projections that it would continue to soar due to economic and population growth.

The analysis, released by the Renewable Energy Certificate Agents
Association, found more than half the cut in power use was due to
photovoltaic solar panels, solar hot water systems and energy savings
programs in Victoria and New South Wales that encourage use of more
efficient lightbulbs and appliances.

The rest is likely to be due to reduced demand from manufacturing
industries, milder weather over the past two years and personal energy
savings made to limit the impact of escalating bills.

Ric Brazzale, of consultants Green Energy Markets, said the cost of
solar energy and energy-efficiency schemes was modest compared with
other factors pushing up electricity prices……
Mr Brazzale said the cost of wholesale electricity was at its lowest
level in 10 years, but the cost of transporting electricity and
meeting peak summer demand due to inefficient use of airconditioners
was ”out of control”.

The report follows Energy Minister Martin Ferguson this week
acknowledging reduced electricity demand meant it would take longer
for the grid to switch from coal-fired power to lower-emissions gas.

Environment Victoria campaigns director Mark Wakeham said the report
had ramifications for the government’s ”contract for closure”
program to pay to shut up to 2000 megawatts of coal-power generation.
He said the declining wholesale electricity price meant the asset
value of coal generators such as Hazelwood in the Latrobe Valley had
reduced. ”It should make it cheaper for the government to secure
closure of our dirtiest brown coal power stations,” he said. ….
http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/national/national/general/solar-panels-linked-to-lower-power-usage/2596553.aspx

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June 20, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, efficiency, solar |

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