Rumours have been floating around the Australian solar industry recently that the $8,000 solar power rebate may end soon. These rumours were given a little more credibility recently when the Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, refused to guarantee that the rebate has a solid future.
Late last week, Ausra, Inc. and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled California’s first solar thermal plant in 2 decades. The technology was developed in Australia, by Australian Dr. David Mills. Professor Mills left Australia in February last year after failing to attract support from the Howard government for his solar thermal technology.
Buying green power directly from a utility has been the popular choice for some people as over the short term it’s a good deal cheaper than having a solar power system installed on a home; even with generous renewable energy rebates available; but there are many traps and pitfalls to watch for.
In many households, the most energy intensive applications are those dealing with the heating of water, refrigeration and air conditioning. These three activities can add considerable expense to the overall cost of a solar power system.
The recent go ahead from the British government on a new offshore wind farm willfurther widen the lead the UK recently achieved in offshore wind powergeneration.
Once the stuff of science fiction, the idea of placing large arrays of solar panels in Earth’s orbit and using microwave transmissions to beam the electricity generated to receptor antenna stations here on Terra Firma may become reality in the not too distant future.
Australia’s first interactive atlas designed to map all of Australia’s renewable energy resources has been launched. Funded by the Australian Federal Government, the Renewable Energy Atlas is a user-friendly online tool showing highly detailed, nationwide information on all forms of renewable energy and also includes data such as energy infrastructure and climate information.
While solar power technology has come a long way, the best solar panels on the general market only convert around 15 – 20% of the sun’s rays into electricity. Eric Mazur, a physicist at Harvard University, believes an ultra-sensitive form of silicon called black silicon could approach the theoretical limit of converting around 30% of sunlight into electricity.
While Germany has less than ideal weather conditions for solar powered electricity generation; it hasn’t stopped the country from becoming a world leader in the uptake of grid connect solar power
Despite being known as the Sunshine State, Queensland appears to have the second lowest adoption rate of home solar power in Australia.