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Tasmania Better For Solar Power Than You Might Think

 

by Energy Matters

Tasmania and solar electricity
When thinking about locations for solar farms, deserts often spring to mind - but colder climates can be just as good. 
  
A new study appearing in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology has found some of the world's coldest places, including Antarctica, have the potential for generating massive amounts of solar electricity.
  
While the concept of littering a pristine Antarctica with solar farms would be repugnant to many, the work by the study's authors will help shift perceptions regarding where solar electricity generation facilities can be established. 
  
The research by Kotaro Kawajiri and colleagues from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology  also found  many cold regions at high elevations receive a great deal of sunlight - and in some cases even higher than in some desert areas. For example, the researchers say the Himalayas could be an ideal location for generating electricity for the People's Republic of China.
 
There is a common misconception that solar panels work best during our hot summers, but heat actually negatively impacts on electricity production. The hotter a day is, the less efficient a solar panel becomes in converting sunlight to electricity. The only reason why more electricity is generally produced during the summer is the longer hours of sunlight. This is why aside from the wattage of a solar panel and standard efficiency rating, the temperature co-efficient rating is also an important indicator of how a panel will perform in various temperatures.
  
Tasmania may not be generally considered a solar hotspot, but given the general cooler climate and having the most sun hours during summer, households in Tasmania installing solar power can see some very good returns on their investment.
  
Electricity prices in Tasmania jumped 8.5% to 10.97% earlier this year and have been predicted to jump a further 23% over the next three years. According to information on national solar power solution provider Energy Matters' web site, even an entry level 1.52 kilowatt solar power system installed in Tasmania can provide savings of around $412 a year.
 
    

 

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