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30kW Residential Hybrid Solar Power System Completed


Hybrid solar power system
Energy Matters partner Evolution Solar has completed the installation an impressive 30kW hybrid solar power system in Rocksberg, Queensland.
The system consists of 116 REC Peak Energy Series 260W solar panels, SunLock framing, 3 SP Pro GO 20kW inverter/chargers, 6 KACO 5kW inverters and 60 x 1280amp BAE deep cycle batteries. The batteries can supply 153 kilowatt hours of reserve power; which is enough to keep an average Australian household fully powered for around 7 days.
The solar panels are installed on a shed on the property; part of which has been used to create two rooms to house the sub-board, associated wiring, inverters, inverter chargers and the batteries. The 4.5 tonnes of batteries are seated in a specially-built 3.5m x 1m powder-coated, steel frame.
An AC coupled hybrid system, it will consume electricity from the grid as a back-up only when necessary. Originally, a 30kW grid connect system was intended for the project. However, electricity distributor Energex denied the application; so Evolution Solar designed a hybrid system that will not export surplus power to the mains grid.
"Due to technical constraints the utilities simply cannot always accept your solar feeding into their network, but this doesn’t have to stop you from installing solar power," says Evolution Solar. As the energy storage revolution picks up pace and prices reduce on battery systems, hybrid and fully off grid systems will become an increasingly attractive option for home owners.
Additional detail regarding the installation can be viewed here.
Evolution Solar Sunshine Coast is located on Brisbane Road in Mooloolaba and also has branches in Kingaroy and Beaudesert. As well as standard residential installations, Evolution Solar also specialises in more complex and larger projects. Last year, the company installed four 6kW solar panel systems on the penthouses of Mooloolaba’s 'Beachcomber On The Spit' luxury apartments.


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A Tangled Renewable Energy Target Web


RET financing report
Analysis by law firm Baker & McKenzie for the Clean Energy Council reveals a number of concerning prospects should the government succeed in slashing the RET.
Among them, a reduction will likely be the catalyst for a review of existing funding arrangements for projects by lenders; resulting in the cost of capital for equity being higher. Any adverse financial impacts on renewable energy operators and developers could result in a slew of legal challenges - and the pursuit of compensation.
“This report shows that a cut in the target of the scale proposed by the government would have far reaching and damaging consequences, and also that ensuring adequate compensation would be an extraordinarily complex and expensive task," said Clean Energy Council Acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton.
"A retrospective change to the policy would result in financial impairment and a substantial risk that existing projects and businesses would collapse, as well as inflicting damage on Australia’s reputation as a safe place to invest."
The Baker & McKenzie draws attention to a major oversight in the Warburton Review.
"The RET Review Report fails to recognise that a lower RET target is likely to suppress merchant REC prices to such an extent that the bundled merchant price is well below breakeven price for operators and financially unattractive for any new owners."
One REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) is equivalent to one megawatt hour of electricity generation. The value of these certificates fluctuates according to market conditions.
Should the government get its way, REC prices are generally expected to fall on average by between 10% - 30%; creating a risk  that projects may not be able to meet their debt servicing obligations.
With more than $10 billion worth of investment having already been made in large scale renewable energy projects based on a 41,000 GWh target, the government now finds itself in very dangerous waters with its aspirations.
The report, "Financing Impacts Of Amendments To The Renewable Energy Target", can be viewed in full here (PDF).


No deposit solar


Wind Power To Play Vital Role In Global Energy Mix


GWEC wind outlook
The latest biennial report from the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International shows that by 2050, wind power could supply up to 30 per cent of the world’s energy needs and play a vital role in avoiding catastrophic climate change.
The GWEC's Global Wind Energy Outlook 2014 (PDF) presents three scenarios for the future of the global wind power industry out to 2050. The report compares the International Energy Agency’s current "World Energy Outlook" model with a "Moderate" and "Advanced" vision of wind power expansion in the global energy mix.
It finds that wind has become the least expensive option for adding new grid-connected electricity in the global power sector – which the report states is responsible for more than 40 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, and about 25 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions.
"Wind power has become the least cost option when adding new capacity to the grid in an increasing number of markets, and prices continue to fall", said Steve Sawyer, CEO of GWEC. "Given the urgency to cut down CO2 emissions and continued reliance on imported fossil fuels, wind power’s pivotal role in the world’s future energy supply is assured."
Burgeoning markets in nations including India, Brazil and Africa along with steady growth in OECD nations will see global wind capacity rise from 318GW at the end of 2013 to around 2000GW by 2030. This would supply 17-19 per cent of the world’s electricity and avoid one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to the combined emissions of Italy and Germany – by 2020.
Massive private investment and innovation in wind turbine technology had seen more money flowing to the industry than ever before, the report found.

"Prices are continuing to fall and smart investors are seizing on the potential," said Sven Teske from Greenpeace. "During each of the past four years, an average of €50 billion went into new wind power equipment. This could increase to €104 billion by 2020 and €141 billion by 2030."

"If global emissions are to peak and decline in this decade, as the science shows is necessary in order to meet climate protection goals, one focus has to be the power sector," the GWEC stated. "Wind power’s scalability and its speed of deployment makes it an ideal technology to bring about the early emissions reductions which are required if we are to keep the window open for keeping global mean temperature rise to 2C or less above pre-industrial levels."



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News for Tuesday 28 October, 2014


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