The renewable energy industry is, unsurprisingly, interested in plans for a large scale solar facility

By 16 April, 2012 45

solar power

This might be stating the obvious but the ACT Labor Government’s solar plan is receiving plenty of interest from the renewable energy industry, as Simon Corbell announced yesterday. Forty nine separate prequalification proposals were received, showing that the nation’s capital is keen to get started on a large scale solar facility.

“This level of interest from the renewable energy industry is clear evidence that the ACT Labor Government’s plan to make Canberra Australia’s solar capital is working, and is absolutely achievable” Mr Corbell said.

Though the closing date for proposals was the 10 April, twenty seven proposals are already being considered for the fast-track assessment stream. This efficiency, which is usually unheard of in government, shows just how serious ACT Labor is about renewable energy and sustainability for the future.

As Simon Corbell says:

“Solar has to be at the centre of any sustainable energy strategy in the ACT and it is the Labor Government that has a clear, legislated plan, to ensure that we move towards cleaner alternatives to power our city into the future.”

[Photo by Green Prophet1 CC BY 2.0]

Please login to post your comments
45 Responses to The renewable energy industry is, unsurprisingly, interested in plans for a large scale solar facility
#1
MERC60010:29 am, 16 Apr 12

Ah good. Leccy from that free source the sun. Lookin’ forward to seeing my bills shrink.

#2
Bluey10:53 am, 16 Apr 12

MERC600 said :

Ah good. Leccy from that free source the sun. Lookin’ forward to seeing my bills shrink.

Not free. Solar panels, grid upgrades, new meters, new administration etc etc cost money. Bills will not shrink they will increase.

#3
Skidbladnir10:57 am, 16 Apr 12

…This efficiency, which is usually unheard of in government, shows just how serious ACT Labor is about renewable energy and sustainability for the future whenever there’s the whiff of an election in the wind.

Is this going to end up like the “pool for Gungahlin” or “Gungahlin Drive Expansion” election promises, which end up being bureaucratic sagas?

#4
switch11:00 am, 16 Apr 12

Dream on. You know as well as I do that even if solar power was cheaper (or really free) they’d whinge they weren’t getting enough cash flow and charge us more to compensate…

#5
HenryBG11:12 am, 16 Apr 12

Bluey said :

MERC600 said :

Ah good. Leccy from that free source the sun. Lookin’ forward to seeing my bills shrink.

Not free. Solar panels, grid upgrades, new meters, new administration etc etc cost money. Bills will not shrink they will increase.

The source is free.

As for bills increasing, that is correct, after all, the NSW Electrical Network & Prices Inquiry found that,
“…The size of electricity bills is increasing much faster than average wages and paying these bills is taking up an increasing proportion of average household income. The Independent Pricing and
Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) estimated in 2009/10 that on average electricity bills account for between
1.1% and 3.8% of household income but that under its current price determination this will increase to
between 1.7% and 5.3%….”

And you wonder why this is?

Have a look at how coal prices have progressed over the last 20 years:
http://www.investis.com/bp_acc_ia/stat_review_2009/htdocs/images/22.gif

And how much has the price of free sunlight increased during this period? It seems it would sensible to exploit this free source of energy rather than remain at the mercy of BP, Enron, and the rest of them, don’t you think?

After all, despite decades of subsidy, the fossil fuel industry is becoming increasingly uncompetitive with new, renewable methods of generating energy from free sources:
http://blog.cleanenergy.org/files/2009/04/lazard2009_levelizedcostofenergy.pdf

The fossil fools are fighting a losing rearguard action which will be completely untenable within another 5 years. Don’t waste your time supporting them, whether it is through ideology or ignorance.

#6
affordable12:58 pm, 16 Apr 12

HenryBG

How will I turn my lights on, sunlight is only free for 6-8 hours a day

#7
HenryBG2:17 pm, 16 Apr 12

affordable said :

HenryBG

How will I turn my lights on, sunlight is only free for 6-8 hours a day

The sun shines 24hrs/day.

You’re thinking a bit too parochially, I think.

#8
Chop712:28 pm, 16 Apr 12

Daylight savings ended several weeks ago. As did Earth Hour. This is obsolite now.

#9
Diggety2:43 pm, 16 Apr 12

affordable said :

HenryBG

How will I turn my lights on, sunlight is only free for 6-8 hours a day

Henry has a distinct inability to differentiate between theoretical and practical implementation.

I’d love to know who preaches to him, and his reasons why renewable energy has not come close to replacing fossil-fuels for electrical generation thus far.

#10
dpm3:19 pm, 16 Apr 12

affordable said :

HenryBG

How will I turn my lights on, sunlight is only free for 6-8 hours a day

Hahaha! This point comes up pretty early in *every* renewable energy ‘debate’ i’ve started reading. It’s at this point I usually switch off from the debate (pun intended!)…..

#11
HenryBG3:23 pm, 16 Apr 12

Diggety said :

affordable said :

HenryBG

How will I turn my lights on, sunlight is only free for 6-8 hours a day

Henry has a distinct inability to differentiate between theoretical and practical implementation.

I’d love to know who preaches to him, and his reasons why renewable energy has not come close to replacing fossil-fuels for electrical generation thus far.

Solar and wind power generation has been practically-implemented all over the world.
The threat these technologies’ exploitation of a free resource poses to the big energy corporation results in massive lobbying and public PR efforts aimed at ensuring they don’t get anywhere near the level of government subsidy and support the polluting industries get.

Some people have a distinct inability to differentiate reality from fossil-fuel-industry PR.

#12
c_c3:27 pm, 16 Apr 12

affordable said :

HenryBG

How will I turn my lights on, sunlight is only free for 6-8 hours a day

Oh dude, the same way solar manages to heat water and power lights at the moment even when the sun isn’t out, through stored heat and energy.

The technology to do this though on a grander scale that would replace current base load power systems though is still a way off. As with electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells, it calls for energy density and efficiency that doesn’t exist yet outside of blue prints now.

#13
HenryBG3:41 pm, 16 Apr 12

c_c said :

affordable said :

HenryBG

How will I turn my lights on, sunlight is only free for 6-8 hours a day

Oh dude, the same way solar manages to heat water and power lights at the moment even when the sun isn’t out, through stored heat and energy.

What I want to know is what school did these idiots attend, that failed to explain to them, for example, how the Snowy Hydro system works?

#14
Diggety4:05 pm, 16 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

Diggety said :

affordable said :

HenryBG

How will I turn my lights on, sunlight is only free for 6-8 hours a day

Henry has a distinct inability to differentiate between theoretical and practical implementation.

I’d love to know who preaches to him, and his reasons why renewable energy has not come close to replacing fossil-fuels for electrical generation thus far.

The threat these technologies’ exploitation of a free resource poses to the big energy corporation results in massive lobbying and public PR efforts aimed at ensuring they don’t get anywhere near the level of government subsidy and support the polluting industries get.

Nope. That isn’t the reason (and your subsidies remark is not true $/kWh).

Try again.

#15
gazket5:17 pm, 16 Apr 12

Solar does well in limited applications like watches and calculators, but it just does not work well in large applications.

#16
HenryBG5:17 pm, 16 Apr 12

Diggety said :

HenryBG said :

Diggety said :

affordable said :

HenryBG

How will I turn my lights on, sunlight is only free for 6-8 hours a day

Henry has a distinct inability to differentiate between theoretical and practical implementation.

I’d love to know who preaches to him, and his reasons why renewable energy has not come close to replacing fossil-fuels for electrical generation thus far.

The threat these technologies’ exploitation of a free resource poses to the big energy corporation results in massive lobbying and public PR efforts aimed at ensuring they don’t get anywhere near the level of government subsidy and support the polluting industries get.

Nope. That isn’t the reason (and your subsidies remark is not true $/kWh).

Try again.

Again, you can believe the dishonest spin emitted by the fossil-fuel lobby, or you can choose to inform yourself.

Your choice.

The fossil-fuel industry has raked in far more in subsidy than the renewable industry.
And what isn’t clear is why mature industries that are long established should be entitled to *any* sort of continued taxpayer funded subsidy any more.

http://www.dblinvestors.com/documents/What-Would-Jefferson-Do-Final-Version.pdf

#17
Diggety6:07 pm, 16 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

Diggety said :

HenryBG said :

The threat these technologies’ exploitation of a free resource poses to the big energy corporation results in massive lobbying and public PR efforts aimed at ensuring they don’t get anywhere near the level of government subsidy and support the polluting industries get.

Nope. That isn’t the reason (and your subsidies remark is not true $/kWh).

Try again.

Again, you can believe the dishonest spin emitted by the fossil-fuel lobby, or you can choose to inform yourself.

Your choice.

The fossil-fuel industry has raked in far more in subsidy than the renewable industry.
And what isn’t clear is why mature industries that are long established should be entitled to *any* sort of continued taxpayer funded subsidy any more.

http://www.dblinvestors.com/documents/What-Would-Jefferson-Do-Final-Version.pdf

Nope, that’s not why renewables aren’t replacing our energy system. Try again.

To clear up your points:
1. Energy experts and Governments tend to evaluate subsidies on $/kWh generated. Your absolute method is like trying to compare the energy of a lit match to a 1GW power station.
(Personally I don’t think any energy should be subsidised apart from experimental scale ups of novel generators for wider commercialisation purposes if they meet a desirable criteria, and on the provision the private sector cannot fund investment.)
2. The information I am giving you is not “dishonest spin from the fossil-fuel industry”. Period.
3. You seem very much an advocate for renewable energy, that’s great. But you are far too parochial and biased for it, so much so that you can’t see the current limitations and costs (hint!) for their roll-out.
4. You also could do with a little background reading on energy systems, demand, and alternatives to what we use now.

P.S. I am in renewable energy research, not fossil-fuel, and I’m well aware of misinformation from both pro, and anti-fossil-fuel generation.

#18
Bramina6:44 pm, 16 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

Diggety said :

Nope. That isn’t the reason (and your subsidies remark is not true $/kWh).

Try again.

Again, you can believe the dishonest spin emitted by the fossil-fuel lobby, or you can choose to inform yourself.

Your choice.

The fossil-fuel industry has raked in far more in subsidy than the renewable industry.
And what isn’t clear is why mature industries that are long established should be entitled to *any* sort of continued taxpayer funded subsidy any more.

http://www.dblinvestors.com/documents/What-Would-Jefferson-Do-Final-Version.pdf

One of the main arguments for solar is that fuel is free. Let’s apply this logic to a car. Say I have a Mazda 3, the most popular car in Australia, which costs about $20,000 normally. But this Mazda 3 doesn’t need fuel ever! Would you buy the car?

You might be wondering how much this car costs, but that is irrelevant right? You’d be getting free fuel damnit! Who wouldn’t pay ANY price to save $5,000 a year on fuel? People who have been brainwashed by the fossil fuel lobby evidently.

But it isn’t just the cost of the solar panels. Because electricity must be consumed as soon as it is produced, solar wreaks havoc on electricity prices and the market. In fact it completely undermines itself.

When the sun shines, solar would produce a huge surplus of electricity. Electricity prices would plummet. This low price reflects a very real low value of electricity. This isn’t just some economic gimmick – the electricity would be worthless.

Now call me a quaint economist, but I have this crazy belief that society producing worthless things is kinda wasteful.

But it gets worse. When solar stopped working because the sun stopped shining there would be a shortage of electricity. Prices would sky rocket, and the fossil fuel electricity producers would be the beneficiaries.

Perhaps the fossil fuel lobby wants solar. Perhaps they are brainwashing *you* HenryBG.

#19
affordable8:06 pm, 16 Apr 12

HenryBG

How are you storing this energy to power your lights without using lots of batteries, insert picture of person pedalling pushbike to power TV, don’t worry about my schooling as I watched the Snowy mountains scheme being built as a very wee little kid and I am disappointed it only produces about 1% of our usage

#20
arescarti428:10 pm, 16 Apr 12

Bramina said :

When the sun shines, solar would produce a huge surplus of electricity. Electricity prices would plummet. This low price reflects a very real low value of electricity. This isn’t just some economic gimmick – the electricity would be worthless.

Now call me a quaint economist, but I have this crazy belief that society producing worthless things is kinda wasteful.

Don’t worry, I guarantee no one is going calling you an economist if you make statements like that. You’ve clearly got NFI what you’re talking about.

#21
milkman8:25 pm, 16 Apr 12

Bramina said :

HenryBG said :

Diggety said :

Nope. That isn’t the reason (and your subsidies remark is not true $/kWh).

Try again.

Again, you can believe the dishonest spin emitted by the fossil-fuel lobby, or you can choose to inform yourself.

Your choice.

The fossil-fuel industry has raked in far more in subsidy than the renewable industry.
And what isn’t clear is why mature industries that are long established should be entitled to *any* sort of continued taxpayer funded subsidy any more.

http://www.dblinvestors.com/documents/What-Would-Jefferson-Do-Final-Version.pdf

One of the main arguments for solar is that fuel is free. Let’s apply this logic to a car. Say I have a Mazda 3, the most popular car in Australia, which costs about $20,000 normally. But this Mazda 3 doesn’t need fuel ever! Would you buy the car?

You might be wondering how much this car costs, but that is irrelevant right? You’d be getting free fuel damnit! Who wouldn’t pay ANY price to save $5,000 a year on fuel? People who have been brainwashed by the fossil fuel lobby evidently.

But it isn’t just the cost of the solar panels. Because electricity must be consumed as soon as it is produced, solar wreaks havoc on electricity prices and the market. In fact it completely undermines itself.

When the sun shines, solar would produce a huge surplus of electricity. Electricity prices would plummet. This low price reflects a very real low value of electricity. This isn’t just some economic gimmick – the electricity would be worthless.

Now call me a quaint economist, but I have this crazy belief that society producing worthless things is kinda wasteful.

But it gets worse. When solar stopped working because the sun stopped shining there would be a shortage of electricity. Prices would sky rocket, and the fossil fuel electricity producers would be the beneficiaries.

Perhaps the fossil fuel lobby wants solar. Perhaps they are brainwashing *you* HenryBG.

This is quite possibly the strangest post I have ever read.

#22
HenryBG9:31 pm, 16 Apr 12

Diggety said :

1. Energy experts and Governments tend to evaluate subsidies on $/kWh generated.

This is dishonest rubbish you’re swallowing from “energy experts” who have a vested interest in the status quo.

If we calculated the value of R&D based on the immediate commercial gain, we would still be living in caves.
Fossil fuels have been in use for decades. Why are they still getting subsidies?

What’s more, taking the immediate commercial return from subsidies put into renewable technologies compared with the price of coal today is a totally invalid (not to say dishonest) analysis due to the steep and increasingly volatile increases in prices for all fossil fuels.

In other words, government investment into a technology for which we can predict steeply increasing overheads in the form of fuel supply costs is short-sighted and wasteful, when cheaper options such as wind are available.

Adding more renewable generation to the grid will help stabilise the price of coal, oil and natural gas, which is precisely why China is throwing so many resources at hydro and wind power (and to a lesser extend solar) at the moment.

#23
OpenYourMind9:37 pm, 16 Apr 12

Oh Mr Diggety!
You said: (Personally I don’t think any energy should be subsidised apart from experimental scale ups of novel generators for wider commercialisation purposes if they meet a desirable criteria, and on the provision the private sector cannot fund investment.)

I sincerely hope you apply that same logic to your beloved nuclear…

#24
HenryBG9:39 pm, 16 Apr 12

affordable said :

HenryBG

How are you storing this energy to power your lights without blablabla

I’ve got an idea:
let’s cripple scientific research with witchhunts against scientists who say stuff that Rupert Murdoch and Enron don’t like, guaranteeing that your question will never be answered and condemning us all to a future of astronomically-high power bills due to the energy multinationals’ stranglehold over political discourse in this country and their ability to hoodwink the gullible into following them sheeplike into a future of energy-servitude and a continuation of the global war over oil that started in 1914.

We’re talking about freedom here – overgovernance is bad enough, but undemocratic rule by unelected lobbying interests is about as serious as it gets.

#25
Martlark10:29 pm, 16 Apr 12

Solar power comes free from the sun and so does coal free from the ground and oil free from under the desert and hydro free from the clouds. All you need to do to use any of these free resources is dig it up, collect it, drill it, or build a giant dam. Then send it somewhere to be burnt or used or descend through a turbine. Easy! Solar is no different then these other free resources that are just lying about. The problem is the storage and transmission of the electricity made by solar and how to deal with the night time, clouds and shadows that prevent smooth generation.

#26
Diggety12:02 am, 17 Apr 12

OpenYourMind said :

Oh Mr Diggety!
You said: (Personally I don’t think any energy should be subsidised apart from experimental scale ups of novel generators for wider commercialisation purposes if they meet a desirable criteria, and on the provision the private sector cannot fund investment.)

I sincerely hope you apply that same logic to your beloved nuclear…

Yes, absolutely I do. Always have, and always will.

Keeping subsidies where technologies are implanted, mature, and economically viable is insane. I always wondered which would be more politically palatable: removing fossil-fuelled subsidies, or implementing a carbon tax. The fact that we high-five each other on implementing a carbon tax, whilst subsidizing high carbon generators is a national embarrassment.

Continuing subsidies for economically viable industries is a disincentive for innovation, efficiency and a healthy market for consumers. It also often ends up in bail outs, and a too cosy relationship between Governments and Industry.

Nuclear power has many issues, as do renewables. But their issues are different, and should be remedied as such. However, they are both required for a rapid decarbonisation of world economies.

In the case of renewable energy to replace our system, the subsidiy costs of mature technologies for capital, supply, land acquisition and ensuring competitive retail and innovation is far more than what we can afford*, based on current costs.

* There is a wider review study on these scenarios coming out soon in the journal Energy, encompassing all forms of energy generators. I’ll even post it after the authors consent after it clears review.

#27
Diggety12:22 am, 17 Apr 12

Let’s go through this one by one:

HenryBG said :

Diggety said :

1. Energy experts and Governments tend to evaluate subsidies on $/kWh generated.

This is dishonest rubbish you’re swallowing from “energy experts” who have a vested interest in the status quo.

Yet we all use it. Including scientific/engineering research, Governmental policy making and investment decisions.

Henry, nations rise and fall on cheap and available energy. It determines a nations history, lifestyle, health, culture, life expectancy, defence, freedom and communication. Your very ability to communicate with me from 4000km away right now.

The $/kWh is a very simple, yet important ascription.

#28
Diggety12:50 am, 17 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

Diggety said :

1. Energy experts and Governments tend to evaluate subsidies on $/kWh generated.

If we calculated the value of R&D based on the immediate commercial gain, we would still be living in caves.
Fossil fuels have been in use for decades. Why are they still getting subsidies?

Yep, I agree. Particularly on the absurdity of fossil-fuel subsidies.

But note: there is a world of difference between funding R&D and subsidizing commercial industry.

Corbell’s proposal is not an R&D project, this is a commercial component of tried and tested technology in an energy system. Trying to subsidize a technology that we can’t even afford with a carbon tax, Government capital funds injection, and from recent attempts of similar projects, even investors and industry back out.

Lead R&D on solar research, sure. But I believe using it as a large scale replacement at the moment will only tarnish it’s reputation.

#29
Diggety1:23 am, 17 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

Diggety said :

1. Energy experts and Governments tend to evaluate subsidies on $/kWh generated.

What’s more, taking the immediate commercial return from subsidies put into renewable technologies compared with the price of coal today is a totally invalid (not to say dishonest) analysis due to the steep and increasingly volatile increases in prices for all fossil fuels.

In other words, government investment into a technology for which we can predict steeply increasing overheads in the form of fuel supply costs is short-sighted and wasteful, when cheaper options such as wind are available.*

Adding more renewable generation to the grid will help stabilise the price of coal, oil and natural gas, which is precisely why China is throwing so many resources at hydro and wind power (and to a lesser extend solar) at the moment.

I actually agree with you on this point, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head (particularly on subsidies and low CPI economies like China/India).

The question I asked you before (why is it that renewables have not replaced our energy sytem?), you’re getting close to an answer (hint: it’s one word).

Renewables will roll out faster than fat lady on a cake, as soon as it’s remedied.

* Apart from your costings on wind, especially on-shore wind.

#30
Tetranitrate1:28 am, 17 Apr 12

Bramina said :

HenryBG said :

Diggety said :

Nope. That isn’t the reason (and your subsidies remark is not true $/kWh).

Try again.

Again, you can believe the dishonest spin emitted by the fossil-fuel lobby, or you can choose to inform yourself.

Your choice.

The fossil-fuel industry has raked in far more in subsidy than the renewable industry.
And what isn’t clear is why mature industries that are long established should be entitled to *any* sort of continued taxpayer funded subsidy any more.

http://www.dblinvestors.com/documents/What-Would-Jefferson-Do-Final-Version.pdf

One of the main arguments for solar is that fuel is free. Let’s apply this logic to a car. Say I have a Mazda 3, the most popular car in Australia, which costs about $20,000 normally. But this Mazda 3 doesn’t need fuel ever! Would you buy the car?

You might be wondering how much this car costs, but that is irrelevant right? You’d be getting free fuel damnit! Who wouldn’t pay ANY price to save $5,000 a year on fuel? People who have been brainwashed by the fossil fuel lobby evidently.

“Who wouldn’t pay ANY price to save $5,000 a year on fuel? ”
Anybody with half a brain and a modicum of financial literacy?
disregarding inflation and taxation and assuming say… a 5% interest rate, a benefit worth $5000 annually can be replicated with say $100,000. Ergo it’s actually not rational to pay “ANY price.

Advertisement
GET PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP
Advertisement

Halloween in Australia?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

IMAGES OF CANBERRA

Advertisement
Sponsors
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.