Solar photovoltaic

Partnership promises to help Australian households move to zero emissions

By Jessie Richardson. Property Observer, December 11 2014

A new project from a network of organisations wants to help Australians cut their energy bills - to $0.

The Energy Freedom alliance provides home owners with information about how to achieve net zero energy emissions.

A number of the partner businesses, which include Cherry LED and Energy Matters Solar, are also offering discounts and rewards as part of the Energy Freedom project. The venture is headed by Beyond Zero Emissions, a subscriber funded not-for-profit which works with the University of Melbourne's Energy Research Institute.

Dr Scott Watkins

Dr Scott Watkins is a Technology developer and communicator and formerly Stream Leader, Organic Photovoltaics (OPVs) at CSIRO. Dr Watkins joins Beyond Zero's Anthony and Matt to talk about the science of organic PV and its future applications. He also touches on his new work in bringing his research to market.

Clinton Wood - Lighthouse Infrastructure leading solar financing

Clinton Wood of Lighthouse Infrastructure talks about how private investment is being leveraged for renewable energy projects, and the challenges and risks of developing this further.

Clinton Wood is Chief Operating Officer at Lighthouse Infrastructure was established in 2007 as an independent firm, based in Melbourne, Australia, focusing on the investment needs of institutional investors in traditional infrastructure and alternative assets. Lighthouse, working with Impact Investment Group, has established the $250 million Fund to provide opportunities to invest in a portfolio of solar assets.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has announced $20 million in support for a program funded by the Solaire Income Fund. See Press Release and Fact Sheet here. This funding is for a program by Tindo Solar – the only Australian manufacturer of solar PV panels - offering a PPA product to commercial and residential customers. Lighthouse also helped win CEFC funding for a 3.1MW major expansion of Australian company Epuron’s Northern Territory solar power station.

Clinton talks about other policies such as the RET and ARENA. He warns that without the LRET, the price for solar PPA's could go up by 10c/kWh, making it economically unviable. 

Stefan Jarnason - Solar Analytics

Stefan Jarnason reflects on his long history in the solar industry, particularly with pioneer Suntech, and tells about his new venture giving solar owners unprecedented accuracy on the long term perfoamce of their investment.

Stefan Jarnason is Managing Director, Solar Analytics and Technical Director, Suntech Australia. Stefan recently presented at the 2014 All Energy Conference in Melbourne in October. 

He discusses how solar is reducing electricity prices for all consumers and is offering comsumers a whole energy package which allows for long term storage, load shifting, monitoring and more. 

Solar Analytics was born out of PV manufacturer Suntech in 2011 and is a unique solar monitoring product that uses sophisticated algorithms to analyse the energy generated by a PV system, and compare this to the calculated energy yield based on the PV system parameters and daily weather conditions. These algorithms intelligently assess how well a PV system is performing, and inform the system owner so that underperforming systems can be rectified in a timely manner.

Solar Analytics offers you alternative user-friendly solutions to better understand your system's performance. Through faster fault identification and rectification, your solar PV system's lifetime energy generation can be increased by 15-20%.

Stefan also talks about some of the new ideas that impressed him at All Energy. He refers to BZE researcher Richard Keech's presentation on 'PV vs solar hot water'. 

Nigel Morris - The Rise & Rise of Solar Power in Australia

In today's Community Show Podcast (broadcast on Mon 12 May 2014), we feature an edited version of a recent BZE Discussion Group presentation by Australia's foremost solar industry expert, Nigel Morris.

Presentation Audio

Solar Everywhere Recap with Dr Muriel Watt

Beyond Zero's Anthony & Matt are joined by solar expert and chair of the Australian PV Institute (APVI), Dr Muriel Watt, for the Solar Everywhere Recap show.

In our regular recap shows, we find a common thread in our previous interviews, play excerpts and weave a story in between.
Today's theme is Solar Everywhere. The incredible decline in the price of solar PV has made it an early favourite for the title of "Energy source of the 21st Century". Its success is not only taking energy generation to places it has never been, it is challenging the very nature of energy generation and distribution.
Today we are going to be exploring all the places where solar panels can now be found, and the innovative policy, marketing and finance models that are getting them there. Many of mechanisms we will discuss relate not just to solar PV, but that’s where we will keep our focus today

We recap interviews with Danny Kennedy, Glen Morris, Oliver Yates, Craig Morris and Mark Rayner.

Ian McLeod - CEO Ergon Energy

Ian McLeod is the CEO of Ergon Energy in Queensland, Director of the Energy Supply Association and formerly on the state electricity commission of Victoria.

Ergon Energy is an electricity retailer to homes and businesses in regional Queensland.  Who are responsible for maintaining and expanding the regional Queensland electricity network.

Today in this extended interview Matt Grantham and Anthony Daniele discuss the infrastructure costs associated with running one of the most dispersed grids in the developed world and how roof top solar and battery storage is being increasing used as a way of reducing costs for Qld tax payers. We also discuss the need and likely success of a recent attempt to get a new coal fired power station established in Townsville.

Matt Grantham has written a series of articles in Climate Spectator on this topic.

Queensland flirts with a capacity catastrophe

The alternative options for North Queensland baseload

Zach Shahan - CleanTechnica

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. Zach has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so.

Aside from his work on CleanTechnica, Climate Spectator and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity

Dr Muriel Watt - Australian PV Institute

Today Matt Grantham and Anthony Daniele discuss the latest developments and reducing prices of Solar PV technology in Australia with Dr Muriel Watt, Chair of the Australian PV Institute (APVI).

The Institute comprises companies, agencies, individuals and academics with an interest in solar energy research, technology, manufacturing, systems, policies, programs and projects.

The APVI's work is intended to be apolitical and of use not only to its members but also to the general community. The focus is on data analysis, independent and balanced information, and collaborative research, both nationally and internationally.

In today's interview, Dr Watt talks about how the cost of a 5kW system has dropped from $60,000 in 2008 to the price today of $8,500 and will continue to reduce over time.

Ric Brazzale - RAA

Ric Brazzale

Solar PV saves Victoria from black out during heatwave

Ric Brazzale, President of RECs Agents Association (RAA) and CEO of Green Energy Trading, shows solar PV contribution clipped peak demand by 4.6% during the recent record breaking January 2014 heatwave. With this significant contribution, PV may well have saved Victorians and South Australians from a black out. 

Using Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) electricity demand 5-minute interval data and overlaying extrapolated Australian PV Institute (APVI)'s PV real-time generation data, the analysis shows 606MW of PV (4.6%) power reduced the peak demand on 16 January at 2:30pm to stay below the highest peak reached back in in the lead up to Black Saturday in January 2009.

PV not only shifted the peak demand to later the day but also kept the wholesale power price down. The average market price during the previous peak (on 29 Jan 2009 12- 6pm) was over $4600/MWh, compared to $509/MWh with 4.6% of PV contribution.

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