Clean Energy Australia Report 2010

The Clean Energy Council of Australia has released it’s report for 2010,  an industry overview.

Australian Renewable Energy Snapshot
Percentage of electricity generation from renewables
The Australian electricity industry generated 251 terawatt hours of electricity in the past year to October. Renewable energy accounted for 8.67 per cent of electricity generated. This is a significant rise from previous years and was mostly due to the increased generation from hydro. Increased rainfall in key hydro catchments across the country provided a significant boost in hydro electricity. The increased capacity of wind power across the country also helped to boost generation. Although solar power still makes a relatively small contribution to the energy mix in Australia, the uptake of the technology has grown rapidly in 2010.

Clean Energy Australia 2010 5
Figure 1. Estimated annual electricity generation
Source: Clean Energy Council Renewable Energy Database, ABARE 2010, REC Registry, AEMO, IMO

Photovoltaic Solar Panels
There were over 187,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed at the beginning of October 2010, around 170,000 of which were installed during the last two years. The number of accredited solar installers and designers has almost tripled in 18 months to 2726.
Solar has become extremely popular with homeowners, who see it as an opportunity to take action on climate
change and protect themselves from rising electricity costs. A range of state and federal government incentives
has helped to make solar power more affordable for the average householder and the price of systems has fallen
by about half in the last three years. These costs are expected to continue to come down, with the full installation
price for solar power expected to decrease by up to 60 per cent by 2020.
Australia and the United States announced a research agreement in 2010 to try and make the cost of solar
competitive with fossil fuels within five years.

The state by state snapshots are inetersting.

Installed capacity: 1417 MW
Percentage of nationwide renewable installed capacity: 12%
Number of projects: 73
Technologies: Solar PV, Bioenergy, Wind, Hydro
Feed-in tariff: Premium FiT for solar PV — 60 cents kWh (Net), F&R Tariff (Net) — at least 1:1 (FiT/Net)
Policy support for clean energy:*
• Victorian Climate Change White Paper
– Increase Victoria’s electricity supply from large-scale solar to 5% by 2020
– Introduce large-scale feed-in tariff
– Green Door – ‘one stop shop’ for energy projects
• $72 million Energy Technology Innovation Strategy to support the development of large-scale, precommercial
demonstrations of sustainable energy technologies
• Energy Saver Incentive – energy efficiency target scheme
* Victoria’s change in government may result in changes to the policies above
Western Australia
Installed capacity: 307 MW
Percentage of nationwide renewable installed capacity: 3%
Number of projects: 32
Technologies: Bioenergy, Wind, Hydro
Feed-in tariff: FiT: 40 cents kWh
Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme: 7 cents kWh (Synergy) – 18.94 cents kWh (Horizon)

Installed capacity: 1184 MW
Percentage of nationwide renewable installed capacity: 10%
Number of projects: 58
Technologies: Geothermal, Bioenergy, Wind, Hydro
Feed-in tariff: 44 cents kWh (Net)
Policy support for clean energy:
• State Government’s Renewable Energy Plan to increase deployment of renewable
energy initiatives and accelerate growth of this sector established in 2009
• $50 million Renewable Energy Fund
• $15 million Queensland Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence to drive
geothermal research and technology
• $50 million Smart Energy Savings Fund

South Australia
Installed capacity: 966 MW
Percentage of nationwide renewable installed capacity: 9%
Number of projects: 35
Technologies: Bioenergy, Wind, Hydro
Feed-in tariff: 44 cents kWh (Net)

Australian Capital Territory
Installed capacity: 10 MW
Percentage of nationwide renewable installed capacity: 0.09%
Number of projects: 5
Technologies: Bioenergy, Hydro, Solar PV
Feed-in tariff: 45.7 cents kWh (Gross)
Policy support for clean energy:
• Target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2060
Developing Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 to deliver this
• Home Energy Audit Program
• Expanded feed-in tariff scheme for household, medium and large-scale solar
• NSW Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (GGAS) began operating on 1 January 2003
New South Wales
Installed capacity: 4,992 MW
Percentage of nationwide renewable installed capacity: 44%
Number of projects: 86
Technologies: Wave, Solar Thermal, Solar PV, Bioenergy, Wind, Hydro
Feed-in tariff: 20 cents kWh (Gross)
Policy support for clean energy:
• NSW Wind Renewable Energy Precincts
• State Government’s $700 million Climate Change Fund,
established in July 2007. Funds allocated in the following areas:
– $170 million Home Saver Rebates Program
– $30 million NSW Green Business Program
– $30 million Public Facilities program
– $40 million Renewable Energy Development Fund
– $20 million School Energy Efficiency Program
– $20 million Rainwater Tanks in Schools Program
– $150 million program under the Energy Efficiency Strategy
• Energy Savings Scheme – energy efficiency target scheme

Northern Territory
Installed capacity: 4 MW
Percentage of nationwide renewable installed capacity: 0.04%
Number of projects: 6
Technologies: Solar PV, Bioenergy
Feed-in tariff: N/A
Policy support for clean energy: Energy Smart Rebate Program

We’ll be giving this a good read!

Read the full report here.

ABC Breakfast speaks with John Grimes on the Solar Flagship Cuts

The federal government will cut government spending to climate change programs to fund the country’s flood reconstruction. Prime Minister Julia Gillard will also impose a levy on taxpayers to help fund the recovery.

John Grimes
Chief executive officer of the Australian Solar Energy Society

Link to Audio File:

The Clean Energy Council Response to the Government’s Flood Plan

The flood levy plan from the Government includes cuts to tge current Solar Flagship scheme.

Spending cuts

The Government will make $2.8 billion in spending cuts, with the funding to go towards the recovery and reconstruction effort, including:

  • Not proceeding with the Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme
  • Abolishing the Green Car Innovation Fund
  • Reducing and deferring spending on the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships and Solar Flagships programs and the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute
  • Abolishing the Capital Development Pool from 1 January 2012
  • Discontinuing funding for the Australian Learning and Teaching Council
  • Reducing the National Rent Affordability Scheme dwelling target
  • Redirecting funds from the Priority Regional Infrastructure Program and Building Better Regional Cities Program
  • Capping annual claims under the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Vehicle Scheme
  • Capping funding for the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme – Solar Hot Water Rebate
  • Not proceeding with Round 2 of the Green Start Program
  • Capping funding for the Solar Homes and Communities Plan

The clean energy council’s response to the flood levy plan from the Government.

Government’s flood plan a renewable energy wash-out

It makes no sense to fund the clean-up of the worst floods in Australia’s history by cutting investment in climate change solutions, according to the Clean Energy Council, the peak industry body for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said the Gillard Government was in danger of losing its way on delivering an effective climate change strategy for Australia by assuming a carbon price, currently under negotiation, will be the “silver bullet” to address the problem.

“The reality is that climatic events like the recent floods are likely to become more severe and frequent with the impacts of climate change,” Mr Warren said.

“Cutting funding for clean energy projects that will ultimately mitigate this impact is as bizarre as it is counterproductive.”

The cuts announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the National Press Club yesterday included reductions in funding to renewable energy initiatives such as the Solar Flagships Program, the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme which supports solar hot water systems, and the Solar Homes and Communities Plan.

“Solar hot water systems are among the most efficient and effective ways for Australian households to reduce their power bills. Rebuilding in flood affected areas is a perfect opportunity to use more clean energy like this to reduce greenhouse emissions.

“Australia has the potential to be a world leader in developing affordable large scale solar energy. We need more investment in its development, not less. Yet Labor’s own Solar Flagships program to accelerate development of this technology has already been trimmed – twice – before the program has even started.”

Mr Warren said a comprehensive response to climate change requires a price on carbon, support for energy efficiency and investment into clean energy generation to deliver affordable clean energy at scale as quickly as possible.

“The Government has a choice – it can either build a cleaner economy, or it can continue to add carbon risk and investment uncertainty.”

Full Article:


Germany to Trim Solar Power Subsidies

Germany plans to bring forward it’s subsidy changes. Even so a total solar power capacity increase of 3.6 gigawatts is impressive.

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s government and an industry group said Thursday they have agreed to trim solar power subsidies by up to 15 percent this year as demand thrives in the country, a leading producer and user of the renewable energy source.

High demand for solar energy equipment has driven down costs, making it possible to move up planned subsidy cuts without curbing the sector’s growth, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said.

“We want a reliable expansion of solar energy, but we also want to use the potential for cost reduction,” Roettgen told journalists in Berlin.

Germany has been heavily subsidizing solar power and other renewable energies since 2000, prompting an industry boom.

Guenther Cramer, who heads Germany’s solar industry association, said a subsidy cut planned for 2012 will be advanced to this July so long as officials are confident that this year’s sales of photovoltaic devices will top 3.5 gigawatts of capacity — about half last year’s level.

The industry hopes to reduce costs so that it will no longer need any subsidies from 2017, Cramer said.

The companies want to increase solar energy’s share in Germany’s overall energy production from about 2 percent now to 10 percent by 2020, taking capacity to 70 gigawatts, Cramer added.

Currently, power grid owners are obliged by law to buy solar power well above market prices at 29 euro cents (39 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour — providing a strong incentive to households and companies to install photovoltaic devices.

Grid owners, however, mostly pass on to consumers the extra cost of buying solar energy. The overall cost for consumers totaled an estimated euro13 billion last year.

Roettgen defended the subsidies for the country’s solar energy sector — which faces increasingly stiff competition from China — as a model for successful economic programs.

“If you want to keep costs in check while ensuring photovoltaic’s further expansion, then this is the best way,” Roettgen said.

Cramer’s industry group says the solar sector now employs 130,000 people in Germany.

The planned subsidy changes, which still need parliamentary approval, foresee a reduction between 3 and 15 percent by July depending on the industry’s sales volume, and a further decrease from next year.

Germany’s solar industry, a leading producer of photovoltaic devices in the world, hopes to improve its competitiveness and boost its exports, the industry group’s mangaging director Carsten Koernig said.

“Asian producers are serious competitors now. The government in China is doing a lot in that regard, they have (subsidy) programs worth billions,” Koernig said.

Full Article:

Hyundai Heavy to Double Investment on Renewable Energy

Hyundai Heavy Industries

Hyundai is reporting a doubling of investment in renewable energy.

SEOUL Jan 25 (Reuters) – Hyundai Heavy Industries (009540.KS: Quote), the world’s largest shipbuilder, will double its investment in the renewable energy business during the next three years, mostly for solar power products, a company spokesman said.

“We have an investment plan to spend around 1 trillion won for about the next three years,” the spokesman said, compared with 500 billion won ($447.2 million) during the past three years.

The increased investment comes as Hyundai, which also makes marine engines and energy equipment, hopes to earn more of its future profit from non-ship divisions.

Amid intensifying competition in the fast-growing renewable industry, said the spokesman, Hyundai will expand capacity of its current solar battery plant to 1.2 gigawatts (GW) and complete construction of a thin-film solar cell plant.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Ken Wills) ($1=1118.0 Won)

The Next Solar Hotspot, India?

Venturebeat has an interesting article on India as the next solar hotspot.

Which country will emerge as the next best market for solar energy? Surprisingly, the answer is India, with its abundant sunlight, exploding demand, and gigantic, mostly off-grid population.

Venturebeat’s article references this report from Lux Research.

Finding the New Germany: Solar Seeks 2011 Subsidies
As Germany winds down its red-hot solar subsidies next year, industry players will be scrambling to find the next big growth market, says Lux Research.
Boston, MA – January 5, 2011 – Germany currently represents roughly half the total global market for solar components – all thanks to explosive growth it fueled over the past decade through attractive solar subsidies. However, as the country is now dialing back its subsidy programs, solar companies will be scrambling to find the next big growth market for 2011 and beyond. New analysis from Lux Research indicates no single country will match Deutschland’s meteoric growth over the past few years, and it provides strategic insights on which markets offer the strongest potential in 2011 and beyond.
Titled “Global Subsidy Roundup: Solar Beyond Germany,” Lux Research’s report provides a detailed overview of the subsidy and regulatory structures for 15 markets, and provides timely guidance into which of them are most capable of fueling future demand as Germany’s star fades.
“Component manufacturers looking to maintain margins in the face of rapidly falling prices will find short-term relief from markets offering attractive subsidies in 2011,” said Jason Eckstein, a Lux Research Analyst and the report’s lead author. “However, to be able to plan for long-term solar growth, companies also need to consider other factors, such as the size of a country’s electricity market, what other generation sources it can tap, and the quality of its electrical distribution infrastructure.”
The report constructs a quantitative model for all 15 markets, based on the value of subsidies, market size, solar generation’s proximity to grid parity, and numerous other factors. It ranks each country on two axes – measuring short-term demand drivers and long-term market potential. Based on their positioning in either axis, markets fall into one of four market classes: Fast Burners, Top Targets, Slow Movers, and Weak Prospects.
• Cyprus, Israel, and Malaysia are Fast Burners. Although these markets offer some of the most valuable subsidies, they all face fundamental limits on the extent to which solar can grow. Cyprus in particular cannot support more than a few hundred megawatts of solar installations, while Israel and Malaysia are capped close to 3 GW.
• India stands out as a Top Target, but South Africa and the U.K. could also be game-changers. India combines a heavily-funded subsidy scheme with a grid in great need of distributed generation and huge projected electricity consumption. South Africa has a significantly more attractive subsidy scheme but is limited to utility-scale applications and faces regulatory uncertainty. The U.K. has a comparatively weak solar resource, but faces tight natural gas supply, has a broad set of feed-in tariff (FIT) incentives, and boasts a potential market size over 20 GW.
• Russia, Brazil, and Mexico are all Slow Movers. All offer huge electricity markets with over 10 GW of solar development potential, but lack incentive schemes. Brazil cancelled an FIT policy early last decade, yet it’s one of the markets closest to grid parity and offers massive potential demand. Mexico has enforced a national net metering policy, making it a likely future champion of solar as a distributed resource. Meanwhile, Russia offers few demand drivers in 2011, but the largest potential addressable solar market at over 80 GW.
“Global Subsidy Roundup: Solar Beyond Germany,” is part of the Lux Solar Systems Intelligence service. Clients subscribing to this service receive ongoing research on market and technology trends, continuous technology scouting reports and proprietary data points in the Lux Research Solar Systems Journal, and on-demand inquiry with Lux Research analysts.
About Lux Research
Lux Research provides strategic advice and on-going intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit for more information.
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The Berlin Solar Atlas project

The city of Berlin is a big fan of solar energy and has poured recources into the Solar Atlas Berlin project which shows the solar potential of buildings in the city. You can search the city and see how much your building could be saving energy with a solar power system.

Berlin Solar Atlas Project - Swan Energy Perth - Solar Power Stations

The Solar Atlas Berlin shows the city’s solar potential down to the individual building. Property owners and investors can use the Atlas to determine whether a building’s roof is suitable for a solar installation and whether the investment will pay off. The Atlas provides key information at a glance on such matters as the potential power output, reductions in CO2 emissions, and investment costs.

Using the Berlin Solar Atlas

There are two ways to use the Berlin Solar Atlas:

A 2D web application with no plug-ins required allows you to start the Solar Atlas in your browser directly. Simply enter any address and click on a building to obtain information about its solar potential.
Start the Berlin Solar Atlas

Experience the Berlin Solar Atlas in three dimensions using Google Earth! To access the Solar Atlas in Google Earth, you must install Google Earth and download a launch application. To try it, follow the installation instructions to the right.
It’s also available in 3D in Google Earth.
Read more about solar power here >>

Flood Safety Advice for Households with Solar Power Systems

Sharp has released a set of safety guidelines for those with solar power systems in flood affected areas.

If your solar system is at risk of being subjected to a flood, this is what you should do:

1) Turn off the solar system by following the “Shutdown procedure” marked on or near your solar inverter or meter box.
2) If in doubt, follow this procedure:
a) Turn off the inverter AC mains isolator (usually in the meter box).
b) Turn off the PV array isolator (usually next to the inverter).
c) If there is a risk that the water level will reach the cables and inverter, arrange to turn off the roof top array isolator also.

If your solar system is under extreme flood

(ie. The inverter and cables are in water) do not attempt to turn the system off because you may receive a lethal electric shock from the solar panels, even if the utility has turned of the mains power in the street.

If your solar system has been affected by a flood, this is what you should do:

1) Do not attempt to operate any switches, residual moisture could cause the switches, inverter and wiring to be live and you could receive a lethal electric shock from the solar panels, even if the utility has turned of the mains power in the street.
2) Call your installer and request them to recommission the system or, if your installer is not available, ask a licensed electrician to check the system for you.
3) In the case where the inverter has been submerged, or partly submerged in water, the inverter should be replaced.

Full Article –

Solar systems offer hope for remote towns – ABC Article

The Little River catchment implements a 1MW solar power station.

Concentrated Solar Power systems could offer new hope for rural communities to attract industrial development. CSP systems use heat from the sun to produce steam which drives a turbine to generate electricity.

Research from the University of Western Australia found that many places in the Western Australia have the required environmental conditions of flat land, sunshine and access to water to fuel the systems.

Small or medium size systems could generate enough electricity to power a small town or run a mine site. Associate Professor Bryan Boruff says finding enough electricity is hard for rural communities. “Currently the system is running at capacity and so the idea was if we understand the physical parameters and some of the planning parameters, understand where we can put these things, then we can maybe use that to attract other industries,” he says.

Full Article –

Read more about solar power stations here.

Parliament House to get a Solar Power System

Solar panels will be installed on Parliament House’s roof as part of an effort to find long-term solutions to the building’s energy needs, according to a senior official.

Parliament’s cooling and heating systems were 22 years old and would need to be replaced in a few years, Department of Parliamentary Services secretary Alan Thompson said.

At the same time, the department was looking at alternative energy sources such as wind and solar.

Read further:

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