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MONDAY 21 FEBRUARY, 2011 | RSS Feed

Solar Power And Electricity Prices - Clearing The Air

 

by Energy Matters

Solar power and electricity prices
It's been inaccurately reported this morning by some media sources that an analysis from the Australia Industry Group has pointed the finger at home solar power subsidy programs being a major contributor to electricity price rises. 
  
In relation to 2015 electricity prices being forecast to at least double from 2008 levels, the Australia Industry Group quite clearly stated the following in relation to renewable energy generation, of which small scale solar power is a part of:
 
"Renewable energy only a small part of the price story - less than 1% of the NSW retail electricity price in 2009-10, and reaching around 2-3% in 2012-13."
 
According to Energy Matters CEO Jeremy Rich, the quality of reporting on the topic of solar is can at times be inaccurate and only serves to perpetuate myths, and in doing so, perpetuates the use and endorsement of heavily taxpayer subsidised fossil fuels and half-measures in terms of carbon abatement.
 
"It's been a real battle for us trying to address all these inaccuracies and myths in regard to solar power. What's really quite puzzling is the AIG report clearly states renewable energy is not the villain in electricity price rises, yet all these reports have popped up referencing their statement inferring that small scale solar power is."
 
The AIG report wasn't entirely complimentary of small scale solar power by any means, but the crucial piece of information was either glossed over presented in what may be considered a misleading way by some reporters.
 
In regard to the cost of solar and carbon abatement and general value for taxpayer money, Mr. Rich and Energy Matters co-founder Max Sylvester addressed this recently in rebuttal to a study carried out by a major newspaper.
 
"Like the electricity price myth we've busted in the past, we're now focusing on another - that home solar power doesn't provide good value for public money in carbon abatement. I said in statement just last week that an entry level system in NSW over the first twenty five years of its life will be responsible for around 78 tonnes of carbon dioxide abatement."
 
"Based on current Solar Credits subsidy levels over that timeframe, the cost works out to approximately $80 per tonne. However, add to that the lifetime of solar panels likely being far longer than twenty five years, the fact that the Solar Credits rebate is being reduced substantially in a few months and all the other benefits of small solar power systems such as decentralising electricity generation and the massive growth in associated green jobs, the true figure when averaged is and will be far lower", says Mr. Rich
 
"Aside from the environmental benefits, home solar power is incredibly good value for private and public money and plays a very important role in Australia's renewable energy mix - and the sooner this is clearly communicated and understood, the more uptake will occur; which in turn will continue to push down costs even more."
 
"Solar power is already inching towards grid parity - get the support right and it will reach that level even faster - and then it will be able to stand on its own two legs without rebates; unlike fossil fuels that have enjoyed heavy subsidisation for decades and still do - even while their use destroys the planet."
  
    

 

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