Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Rooftop solar the unsung hero in recent South Australia blackouts.

 Regional home and business owners driving Australia’s solar energy boom, ABC PM By Angela Lavoipierre , 23 Mar 17 

“……….Rooftop solar panels do not necessarily power the buildings they are attached to.Most of the time, the power generated by those panels is sold straight back to the energy market.

Generous state-based schemes designed to tempt people into the market paid handsomely for that energy in the past, but those deals all but disappeared.

At another time in Australian history, that change might have had a chilling effect on solar uptake, but soaring energy prices have made sure that is not the case. To those who own their own homes, with mounting power bills, solar still looks pretty tempting, even if it is just for your own personal use. The rapid pace of growth in rooftop solar has slowed.

But Hugh Saddler, an energy analyst based at the Australian National University, said Australia could expect to see an ongoing boom in the uptake of small-scale solar for businesses.

“The steady or in more case rapid increase in the commercial sector is being driven to a significant degree by the steadily falling cost of installing a solar system,” Dr Saddler said.

There are currently industry-based schemes, paid for by consumers, to encourage businesses to go solar.

Dr Saddler predicts those schemes, once they end, could prove to be a hiccup in the growth of Australia’s solar industry, but little more. “I suppose one challenge will be whether it will still be an attractive investment when the small renewable energy scheme comes to an end and I’m sure that it will be because the prices are coming down all the time,” he said.

If 2.8 per cent does not sound like much, Dr Saddler makes the case that rooftop solar was the unsung hero in recent SA black outs. “If it hadn’t been for the rooftop solar making a very large contribution at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon … then that peak would have been about 7 per cent higher than the peak demand on the grid two hours later,” he said.

“And that would have roughly doubled the number of consumers that had to be cut off for load shedding.”  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-23/regional-australia-drives-solar-boom/8377670

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March 23, 2017 - Posted by | solar, South Australia

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