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Solar Power Could Generate 27% Of Electricity Production By 2050


IEA solar roadmap
A combination of solar panels and concentrated solar power could be the largest source of electricity globally by 2050, accounting for 27% of world electricity production.
Combined, these solar technologies have the potential to avoid 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year by the middle of the century says the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Two IEA technology roadmaps unveiled yesterday detail technology improvement targets and the policy actions required to achieve this. The level is entirely achievable - the IEA points out its PV Roadmap in 2010 set an ambitious benchmark of 200 gigawatts of cumulative capacity deployed globally by 2020; a goal that will be reached next year.
137 GW of PV capacity was installed worldwide at the end of 2013 and up to 100 MW of solar panels are being added each day. The IEA sees the 2050 scenario resulting in over half of total capacity installed at the point of consumption - homes and commercial buildings.
The roadmaps forecast solar PV capacity to outpace solar thermal technologies out to 2030, when "massive-scale" STE deployment takes off due to CSP plants' built-in thermal storage.
In launching Solar Roadmaps 2014, Executive Director of the IEA, Maria van der Hoeven, said there were three main recommendations for policy makers.
First, long term targets for solar electricity must be set or updated that take into account cost reductions already achieved and potential further reductions.
Second, solar technologies need to be progressively exposed to market signals, but taking into account the impacts and value of distributed residential and commercial solar generation; plus differentiating remuneration for generation during peak hours in the late afternoons and evenings.
Third, de-risking financing should become a key policy priority.
Ms. van der Hoeven's closing statement is one Australia's Federal Government should perhaps take special note of:
"Clear, credible and consistent signals from policy makers can lower risks to investors and inspire confidence. By contrast, where there is a record of policy incoherence, confusing signals or stop-and-go policy cycles, investors end up paying more for their investment, consumers pay more for their energy, and some planned projects simply will not go ahead."
The roadmaps, presentation and Ms. van der Hoeven's speech can be downloaded here.


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Renewable Energy Target Campaigns Ramping Up


Renewable Energy Target campaign
A major campaign concerning the Renewable Energy Target is about to begin in marginal seats in Queensland in the lead-up to the state election; among other actions that should also make the Abbott Government really sit up, take notice and act accordingly.
The Australian Solar Council, the Queensland Council of Unions and Queensland Conservation  are embarking on a high profile campaign over the next 5 months encouraging Queensland's many solar households and others to support political parties that back good solar policies.
"Since Campbell Newman’s LNP was elected two and a half years ago, unemployment has hit its highest point in more than a decade, rising to 6.8%. Mr Newman has supported the Abbott Government’s push to dismantle the RET, and if this is allowed to happen thousands more Queenslanders will be unemployed," said Ron Monaghan, General Secretary of the Queensland Council of Unions.

"Queensland is the solar capital of Australia with over 330,000 homes with solar on their roofs, nearly 25% of all homes. This investment creates jobs, reduces power bills and supports a clean energy future," said Toby Hutcheon, Executive, Queensland Conservation.
In related news, some of the country’s best known community and consumer groups; including Brotherhood of St. Laurence, ACOSS, the ATA and the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre, have called on the Federal Government to leave the Renewable Energy Target alone.
In a letter to Prime Minister, the signatories state:
"In recommending a cut to the RET, the Warburton review panel seems to be ignoring the results of the research and analysis that it commissioned ... We urge the government instead to focus on other areas that have had a vastly more significant effect on driving up power bills. These include electricity network pricing, wholesale gas prices and retail competition and regulation."
Earlier this month, the Australian Technology Associated (ATA) warned yet another sector to suffer if certain Warburton review recommendations are implemented is the voluntary GreenPower scheme; which 600,000 Australians participate in. The review recommended electricity purchases through GreenPower be included within the mandated annual RET targets. 
"GreenPower will basically collapse overnight if the Federal Government chooses to adopt this recommendation," Damien Moyse, the ATA’s Policy & Research Manager, said.
It's understood Labor's environment spokesman Mark Butler has accepted an invitation from Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, for a meeting to discuss the RET. While doing Mr. Macfarlane "a courtesy" by listening to what he has to say, Mr. Butler says Labor won't support the recommendations from the Warburton review.


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News for Monday 29 September, 2014


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