WEDNESDAY 12 MARCH, 2014 |
Aussie Battlers Still Big Solar Adopters
Recent data from the Clean Energy Regulator further dispels the "solar is
for the rich" myth.
According to a report on RenewEconomy
the top 20 postcodes for solar uptake in Western Australia earn $1021 less than the WA average.
The top postcode is Mandurah (postcode 6210), where residents earn $681 less
than the average WA wage.
In Victoria, Hoppers Crossing tops the list of Melbourne's solar suburbs says The
, followed by Werribee and Cranbourne.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says Victorians are "..walking into solar shops with their power bills in their hands saying 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any
That this trend is continuing is no surprise - while increasing power costs are
creating the trigger for Australians wanting to go solar; something that is
enabling more families and retirees
to actually make the switch is the advent of innovative financial mechanisms
such as zero
deposit payment plans
While some payment plans can be expensive, others such as Energy Matters offers
can offer a weekly repayment rate less than what a household is currently paying
for mains supplied power - and at the end of the plan; the electricity generated
is essentially free. Under the Energy Matters arrangement, the purchaser owns
the system from day one and there is nothing further to pay at the conclusion of
With what is often perceived the last major barrier to going solar (the up-front
cost) removed, future reports from the Clean Energy Regulator may show an even
greater representation of mortgage belt and lower income suburbs and towns among
Australia's top solar postcodes.
The Energy Matters Australian
shows very impressive rates of return on investment on going
solar - it can outperform returns on shares, property, gold and term deposits.
This aspect also makes solar particularly attractive in retirement
IRENA, ASU To Develop Solar Installer Certification For West Africa
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Arizona State University (ASU)
have partnered to develop a solar installer certification programme for West Africa.
The need to accelerate renewable energy uptake is particularly pressing in West
Africa; which is comprised of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
With much of the population having unreliable access to electricity; fossil
fuels are king - particularly in the form of dangerous and polluting kerosene
used for lighting.
While renewable energy technologies have rapidly reduced in price; a challenge
for these nations is having a suitably qualified workforce capable of installing
The IRENA/ASU programmes will certify technicians for off-grid and grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems.
Workshops in selected countries will occur to engage key stakeholders in order
to gain political and policy level support for the initiative.
"ASU is a worldwide leader in PV solar research, power-grid management and
sustainability," said Paul
, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU. "We are excited to be collaborating with IRENA to share our expertise and help build the local technical capacity in West
IRENA is an intergovernmental organisation working to promote the acceleration of renewable energy uptake worldwide.
More than 124 states and the European Union are members; Australia among them.
A report from IRENA in
says employment in renewable energy worldwide in 2012 reached 5.7
million; with the largest number of jobs found in the biofuel and solar photovoltaic
sectors. IRENA sees potential for adding 11 million jobs in the years to 2030,
with many of these new jobs to be created in developing nations.
However, the body says a shortage of necessary skills in the renewable energy sector could become a major barrier to this level being achieved.
News for Tuesday 11 March, 2014
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