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33 megawatts of renewable energy capacity in the ACT

By johnboy - 16 July 2013 9

The ICRC has released its quarterly feed in summary report into all those rooftop solar panels.

One can argue that the feed in tariff was a terrible way to pay for solar energy capacity.

But it’s hard to argue against the volume of electrons the beasts are throwing out now:

• Total installed capacity of renewable generators at 31 March 2013 was 32,828 kilowatts, compared with 30,149 kilowatts at the end of the December 2012 quarter.

• Metered output of renewable generators for the March 2013 quarter was 12,892,677 kWh compared with 11,254,200 kWh in the December 2012 quarter.

• Total metered output of renewable generators from 1 March 2009 to 31 March 2013 was 68,486,124 kWh.

Sure, they only work when the sun is shining, but that is when we want to run out air conditioning.

What’s Your opinion?


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9 Responses to
33 megawatts of renewable energy capacity in the ACT
shauno 11:39 pm 16 Jul 13

CraigT said :

davo101 said :

Tony said :

But of cause, these solar panels do little to alleviate the power demand during peek hours, and are therefore next to useless in terms of environmental sustainability.

Power plants are generally “base load power plants”, which mean they operate at full load regardless of he time of day. So unless you reduce the peek load demand so you can shut down (or avoid commissioning new plants), you do nothing for the environment – even if you tuned off all power during the day, power plants still operate at load.

To paraphrase this article perhaps you should stop getting your science information from the Australian? There seems to be a popular misconception that you can’t reduce the firing rate of a coal fired power station, however as the diagram shows in the article you can easily run a coal fired power station at half capacity.

On the other hand, admitting their coal fired power plants can’t adjust to demand is also an admission that they are inefficient and ill-suited to being any part of the future modernised energy mix.

Germany has turned the tables by legislating that all renewable electricity must be bought before any of this archaic old-fashioned inefficient “base-load” power can be bought.
It’s resulted in the relegation of legacy coal-fired power plants to top of the list for decomissioning.

As usual, we look like backward bumpkins compared to what the 1st-world are doing with electrivity generation.

Mate I suggest you look at the reality over there in Germany they are importing more brown coal fired electricity then ever before now from Eastern Europe to make up the short falls. And also they are rethinking there decision to back away from Nuclear power in the future.

And im not biased at all because I have 6kw of solar on my roof.

justin heywood 11:08 pm 16 Jul 13

CraigT said :

As usual, we look like backward bumpkins compared to what the 1st-world are doing with electrivity generation.

Spot on. And given our relative wealth, resources and low population, we have absolutely no excuse for it. We are like a rich kid pissing away his inheritance.

CraigT 9:13 pm 16 Jul 13

davo101 said :

Tony said :

But of cause, these solar panels do little to alleviate the power demand during peek hours, and are therefore next to useless in terms of environmental sustainability.

Power plants are generally “base load power plants”, which mean they operate at full load regardless of he time of day. So unless you reduce the peek load demand so you can shut down (or avoid commissioning new plants), you do nothing for the environment – even if you tuned off all power during the day, power plants still operate at load.

To paraphrase this article perhaps you should stop getting your science information from the Australian? There seems to be a popular misconception that you can’t reduce the firing rate of a coal fired power station, however as the diagram shows in the article you can easily run a coal fired power station at half capacity.

On the other hand, admitting their coal fired power plants can’t adjust to demand is also an admission that they are inefficient and ill-suited to being any part of the future modernised energy mix.

Germany has turned the tables by legislating that all renewable electricity must be bought before any of this archaic old-fashioned inefficient “base-load” power can be bought.
It’s resulted in the relegation of legacy coal-fired power plants to top of the list for decomissioning.

As usual, we look like backward bumpkins compared to what the 1st-world are doing with electrivity generation.

chewy14 5:48 pm 16 Jul 13

Looking at the amount we pay per kWh on these makes for grim reading.

What a waste of cash, at least it can only get better from here on in now the massive subsidies have been dropped.

IrishPete 5:44 pm 16 Jul 13

Tony said :

But of cause, these solar panels do little to alleviate the power demand during peek hours, and are therefore next to useless in terms of environmental sustainability.

Power plants are generally “base load power plants”, which mean they operate at full load regardless of he time of day. So unless you reduce the peek load demand so you can shut down (or avoid commissioning new plants), you do nothing for the environment – even if you tuned off all power during the day, power plants still operate at load.
Though Snowy Hydro is load following power plant (can vary production based on demand).

But hey, lets continue to naively believe we are doing the environement good. And even cosier knowing the well of pay a fraction of what everone else has to pay for electricity.

The only good solar power for the connected power grid is solar thermal, which can store heat to produce electricity during peek periods.

Peek times are 7.00am to 9.00am and 5.00pm to 8.00pm (according to ACTEW)

Summer or winter? In summer solar rooftop PV is generating at those times. Possibly even more than during the middle of the day, as the panels are more efficient when cool.

And those are residential peak rates for charging, not necessarily peak power usage http://www.actewagl.com.au/Help-and-advice/How-to-read-your-meters/Time-of-use-rates.aspx as the peak tariff for businesses is 7am to 5pm, and even in winter solar rooftop PV is probably generating for most of that band.

IP

davo101 3:33 pm 16 Jul 13

Tony said :

But of cause, these solar panels do little to alleviate the power demand during peek hours, and are therefore next to useless in terms of environmental sustainability.

Power plants are generally “base load power plants”, which mean they operate at full load regardless of he time of day. So unless you reduce the peek load demand so you can shut down (or avoid commissioning new plants), you do nothing for the environment – even if you tuned off all power during the day, power plants still operate at load.

To paraphrase this article perhaps you should stop getting your science information from the Australian? There seems to be a popular misconception that you can’t reduce the firing rate of a coal fired power station, however as the diagram shows in the article you can easily run a coal fired power station at half capacity.

pajs 3:10 pm 16 Jul 13

Tony said :

But of cause, these solar panels do little to alleviate the power demand during peek hours, and are therefore next to useless in terms of environmental sustainability.

Power plants are generally “base load power plants”, which mean they operate at full load regardless of he time of day. So unless you reduce the peek load demand so you can shut down (or avoid commissioning new plants), you do nothing for the environment – even if you tuned off all power during the day, power plants still operate at load.
Though Snowy Hydro is load following power plant (can vary production based on demand).

But hey, lets continue to naively believe we are doing the environement good. And even cosier knowing the well of pay a fraction of what everone else has to pay for electricity.

The only good solar power for the connected power grid is solar thermal, which can store heat to produce electricity during peek periods.

Peek times are 7.00am to 9.00am and 5.00pm to 8.00pm (according to ACTEW)

‘Peek’. I’m not sure you quite get how mixes of base load and peaking plants (including renewables and non-renewables) work in the current national electricity market. For instance, do you think there might be a chance that, when there is good wind & solar supply coming in, and cheaper than peaking gas, that some of that gas is displaced? Or that with a bigger pool of renewables (intermittent and less so), you get a crowding out of the need for non-renewable baseload?

Anyway, solar panels in cities are not aimed at reducing power demand, as per your first line. The aim is augmenting supply.

Personally, for domestic power consumption, I’d prefer to see people sort out energy efficiency options first, then go with solar hot water to further cut their demand, and only then go to PV. Which still doesn’t mean PV is ‘next to useless [for] environmental sustainability’.

OpenYourMind 2:43 pm 16 Jul 13

More amazing is the ever decreasing cost of solar panels. There are predictions going around that by 2017 a kilowatt of solar could cost as little as $360. At that price, those panels pay for themselves in 3 years at electicity wholesale rates of 8c/kWh (based on 4.1kw/h per day per installed kW – Canberra average.
Storage of energy is never as big a problem as generation. If solar gets that cheap on the generation side, then storage solutions will sprout up like weeds. There are all manner of ways to store excess energy generated to create so called base load. Obvious example is pumped storage (eg Tumut 3). Beyond that there are many solutions, and when energy is cheap any loss in efficiency through storage conversion is immaterial.

Tony 2:31 pm 16 Jul 13

But of cause, these solar panels do little to alleviate the power demand during peek hours, and are therefore next to useless in terms of environmental sustainability.

Power plants are generally “base load power plants”, which mean they operate at full load regardless of he time of day. So unless you reduce the peek load demand so you can shut down (or avoid commissioning new plants), you do nothing for the environment – even if you tuned off all power during the day, power plants still operate at load.
Though Snowy Hydro is load following power plant (can vary production based on demand).

But hey, lets continue to naively believe we are doing the environement good. And even cosier knowing the well of pay a fraction of what everone else has to pay for electricity.

The only good solar power for the connected power grid is solar thermal, which can store heat to produce electricity during peek periods.

Peek times are 7.00am to 9.00am and 5.00pm to 8.00pm (according to ACTEW)

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