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Solar power will destroy us all

By Martlark - 23 April 2012 61

I’ve read Graham Downie’s excellent arcticle in the Canberra Times regarding the almost useless and expensive solar power system we Canberran’s have been stuck with.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/high-price-paid-for-low-solar-return-20120422-1xfca.html

At peak radiation times, not even 1% of power is generated by solar.  And during peak demands, on cold nights, yes Sherlock, it’s 0%, not doubt due to the slackness of the sun having a few hours off.

For this hippy, green tinged, good feeling, all us lower class subjects of the ACT are charged $50 a year.  That money flows right into the pockets of the yuppies who had the spare cash to lash out on these things.

Using a back of the envelope calculation of $5k per system; the ten thousand systems in the ACT cost us $50 million dollars to install and an ongoing $5 million per year to subsidise.

I’m annoyed.  This money and effort could have been spent on more worthwhile facilities.

What’s Your opinion?


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61 Responses to
Solar power will destroy us all
1
arescarti42 3:41 pm
23 Apr 12
#

Home solar PV systems are hardly useless, but if the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions, then subsidising their installation has got to be one of the most expensive ways to do it.

It is also a really inequitable and socially regressive subsidy in that the people who are being subsidised are those who are both wealthy enough to own a house and have a couple of thousand dollars just lying around. Ultimately the people who bear the costs of the subsidy are those who are too poor to take advantage of it.

I’m a huge proponent for reducing GHG emissions, but the feed in tariff scheme strikes me as a bad piece of public policy.

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2
HenryBG 4:18 pm
23 Apr 12
#

So….we have very little solar power installed, therefore it only provides a 1% share of our production, therefore we shouldn’t increase our installed capacity of solar generation?

Is that the logic?

I spend about $2600pa on electricity and gas.
According to you, I am paying $50pa for solar power.

I notice that the price of solar power is not increasing year-on-year, whereas the price of fossil-power is doubling at a rate of once every 10 years.
In other words, if we don’t start installing a lot more solar and wind very soon, we will be paying a lot more than an extra $50pa for the privilege of using power generated from non-renewable sources.

I’m hoping a lot more investment is made into cheaper and more price-stable forms of power generation (such as wind and solar) very soon, so my power bills don’t go through the roof, as they will if anybody pays any attention to the reality-denying changeophobic cranky Abbott-loving pensioners.

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3
p1 4:40 pm
23 Apr 12
#

Perhaps that $50mil should have been spent installing PV systems on all the govvie houses in the Territory. That way we would get the solar power into the grid, and the government would get the cash since they own the systems.

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4
nobody 4:55 pm
23 Apr 12
#

I think every city needs to reduce their CO2 emissions as soon as possible, but I also have concerns about domestic roof-top solar systems.

I’ve noticed several roof panels which have large trees nearby, placing them in shadow for a few hours each day. We want large trees around our suburbs, but they don’t go well with solar panels.
Almost all of these systems have only been installed because of the government subsidies, at a time when most people agree markets pick technology winners better than governments.
Economies of scale in economic theory point to a reduction for installation, maintenance, and operation costs as the size of the solar plant increases, suggesting mid size plants would be better.
The electricity distribution grid has been designed for the flow of power into the suburbs from distant generators, and 10,000 generators now within the city must be causing a few distribution anomalies.

I’d prefer mid to large size solar or wind placed outside the city, and am glad to see mid size schemes opening up now.

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5
dpm 5:06 pm
23 Apr 12
#

arescarti42 said :

..It is also a really inequitable and socially regressive subsidy in that the people who are being subsidised are those who are both wealthy enough to own a house and have a couple of thousand dollars just lying around. Ultimately the people who bear the costs of the subsidy are those who are too poor to take advantage of it..

Kinda like negative gearing rules, but no one seems to be as outraged over that inequitable system…

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6
arescarti42 5:42 pm
23 Apr 12
#

dpm said :

arescarti42 said :

..It is also a really inequitable and socially regressive subsidy in that the people who are being subsidised are those who are both wealthy enough to own a house and have a couple of thousand dollars just lying around. Ultimately the people who bear the costs of the subsidy are those who are too poor to take advantage of it..

Kinda like negative gearing rules, but no one seems to be as outraged over that inequitable system…

It’s exactly like negative gearing, which does outrage me. I suspect the reason that more aren’t outraged is that they don’t understand what negative gearing is, what it does, and how it affects government revenues (including a lot of people who are negatively geared).

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7
HenryBG 6:25 pm
23 Apr 12
#

dpm said :

arescarti42 said :

..It is also a really inequitable and socially regressive subsidy in that the people who are being subsidised are those who are both wealthy enough to own a house and have a couple of thousand dollars just lying around. Ultimately the people who bear the costs of the subsidy are those who are too poor to take advantage of it..

Kinda like negative gearing rules, but no one seems to be as outraged over that inequitable system…

Good point.
He’s wrong anyway – ultimately, the people who bear the costs of the subsidy are the people who pay the most taxes, and these are the people who are most able to afford to put PV on their roofs.
That works.

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8
Lazy I 6:45 pm
23 Apr 12
#

dpm said :

arescarti42 said :

..It is also a really inequitable and socially regressive subsidy in that the people who are being subsidised are those who are both wealthy enough to own a house and have a couple of thousand dollars just lying around. Ultimately the people who bear the costs of the subsidy are those who are too poor to take advantage of it..

Kinda like negative gearing rules, but no one seems to be as outraged over that inequitable system…

Kinda like means testing rebates… oh wait.. that punishes the ‘wealthy’, that’s all good.

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9
Bramina 7:16 pm
23 Apr 12
#

dpm said :

arescarti42 said :

..It is also a really inequitable and socially regressive subsidy in that the people who are being subsidised are those who are both wealthy enough to own a house and have a couple of thousand dollars just lying around. Ultimately the people who bear the costs of the subsidy are those who are too poor to take advantage of it..

Kinda like negative gearing rules, but no one seems to be as outraged over that inequitable system…

Well I for one sure am.

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10
Special G 8:04 pm
23 Apr 12
#

Had your whinge – good – now show me the money. No electricity bill and extra cash generated covers gas, water and phone bills.

Since I have had them installed I have also started paying more attention to how much power I use and have dropped my electricity consumption by half. You do the maths on how much that is costing you.

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11
milkman 8:49 pm
23 Apr 12
#

arescarti42 said :

dpm said :

arescarti42 said :

..It is also a really inequitable and socially regressive subsidy in that the people who are being subsidised are those who are both wealthy enough to own a house and have a couple of thousand dollars just lying around. Ultimately the people who bear the costs of the subsidy are those who are too poor to take advantage of it..

Kinda like negative gearing rules, but no one seems to be as outraged over that inequitable system…

It’s exactly like negative gearing, which does outrage me. I suspect the reason that more aren’t outraged is that they don’t understand what negative gearing is, what it does, and how it affects government revenues (including a lot of people who are negatively geared).

And like negative gearing, there’s an elephant in the room – the carbon cost of manufacturing and transporting solar panels to suburban roofs.

(the elephant for negative gearing is the $33 billion dollars that our governments collect in property-related taxes each year)

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12
dpm 9:13 pm
23 Apr 12
#

Special G said :

Had your whinge – good – now show me the money. No electricity bill and extra cash generated covers gas, water and phone bills.

Since I have had them installed I have also started paying more attention to how much power I use and have dropped my electricity consumption by half. You do the maths on how much that is costing you.

Sounds good to me! What size system did you get? Also, what did you do to drop energy use by half?

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13
Diggety 9:13 pm
23 Apr 12
#

I think Martlark raises some valid points for discussion, but the title of the article is quite retarded.

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14
I-filed 9:38 pm
23 Apr 12
#

It would be interesting to know how many of these wealthy, subsidised “identities” are hooked into Green and in-the-know circles … remember, the Stanhope Government did this to us!

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15
Martlark 9:39 pm
23 Apr 12
#

Special G said :

…Since I have had them installed I have also started paying more attention to how much power I use and have dropped my electricity consumption by half. You do the maths on how much that is costing you.

$4000 to $5000 Sustainable Energy rebate. Couple of grand Govt. grant to install I suspect. Some sort of excessive payment multiple times the retail cost for what you generate. That is what it is costing us. Nice for you, don’t see why I should subsidise your comfort.

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