Feeds

back to article Solar installations skyrocket in Oz

In spite of cutbacks in various government programs that subsidized home solar installations, installations in Australia passed the half-million mark during 2011, according to the Clean Energy Council. In a report released during the climate change talks at Durban, the council said its research found that there are now 35 times …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge
Unhappy

expensive Xmas decoration

I had solar panels installed last month, and they won't be switched on until March next year because the useless buggers at ACTPLA can't get their act together to do the inspection before then. Not happy!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Metric prefixes

You're doing it wrong.

0
0
Silver badge

My money is on power demand outstripping renewable supply such that the percentage supplied by it shrinks nicely over time. You only have to wonder round looking at all the poorly constructed (from a thermal perspective firstly) McMansions with their ducted systems to know this is the case.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

I'd get solar but...

...this sun thing, how long is that going to be around for?

Can we rely on it?

Will it be privatised?

It's a bit hit and miss for me.

One half of the day it's there, the other half it's gone!

A bit dodgy, I'll wait for Mr Fusion.

0
0
Childcatcher

I think I would want my money back.

If I work this out correctly the Australian experience shows the seasonal exposure factor is 15.6%. That means photovoltaic panels are less than one sixth as effective as you might expect, or that you have to install six times as much to get what it says on the tin. If this is replicated in the UK then the nominal 3kW peak installation will only output an average 460W for all daylight hours. Not much return for £10k installation cost.

0
0

Fantastic generating capacity

Or is it? 1000 MW installed capacity should be producing 8760 GWh of electricity a year and it's produced 680 GWh. A stunning 7.8%

To put it another way, the generating capacity averaged over the year isn't 1000 MW; it's 78 MW. A real successs story. A triumph of feeling good over doing good.

Not surprising given the preponderance of ill-sited and badly oriented PV systems; some actually pointing South of East or West. Because the roof slopes that way.

Wait until the authorities audit the certificates issued; which are each granted in return for (IIRC) 1 MWh of conventional generation averted. Accepting the certificate effectively means entering into a contract to supply. Not generating enough could become costly.

Still, it must be rewarding to know that there are now half a million homes where, in the event of a fire, the fire brigade will simply watch the fire and stop its spreading to other buildings without PV until the PV panels have been destroyed. Especially rewarding for insurance companies. Who will also have to reinstate the solar system, or the person who got the certificates will have to pay back the taxpayer for the ungenerated portion of certificates issued if the system isn't insured.

Gives one a warm glow, knowing that.

0
0

How do you figure this?

The average daily generation from a 1kw system in Australia is 4KWh. Multiplied by 365 gives 1460 KWh annual generation. Scaling up from 1000MWh installed base should give a generation of 1460 GWh of annual generation. If only 680GWh is being produced, that implies a 46% efficiency. Still not good, but nowhere near as bad as 7.8%. I accept the comments regarding poorly installed panels and people purchasing cheap components that don't produce at rated ouput, however, it's worth noting that:

The generation of 680GWh is based on the period from 1/10/10 to 30/9/11.

The headline figure of 1031MW of installed systems is based on the figure at the end of August 2011. The installed figure for the end of 2010 was 492MW.

So, the geeration figure of 680GWh has to be based on a generation capacity of substantially less than 1031MW as something like half the installed capacity was actually installed sometime between 1/10/10 and 30/9/11.

To be fair, the CEC report should have been clearer on this. Given the reduction in government rebates on July 1, 2011, it woudl be safe to assume that a lot of the 492Mw installed between 2010 and 2011 occured in the second quarter of 2011, so woudl not add significantly to the total output generated.

I'm happy for someone to explain if I've worked any of this out incorrectly, but the CEC figures seem reasonable to me.

0
0
Bronze badge

@Bernd Felsche

Your comment about the fire brigade shows that you are unfamiliar with the installation regulations where I live: the PV panels must have a clearly visible isolation switch, and the fire brigade know to simply turn off the panels using the switch. Give the boys in yellow some credit, they want to do the right thing and actually save property/lives, it's what they signed up for.

0
0

@Michael Xion

Figured by taking the estimated total generated (which is the government figure) of 680 GWh and dividing it by the advertised generating capacity (of 1031 MW) multiplied by the number of hours in the year. You can use the figures from the article "there is now more than 1,000 MW of solar power installed, delivering 680 GWh annually." or from the government slide-show: http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/dms/cec/reports/2011/Clean-Energy-Australia-Report-2011/Clean%20Energy%20Australia%20Report%202011.pdf

By the "miracles" of arithmetic, one can do it the other way around; divide the total amount generated (680 GWh) by the number of hours in a year and then divide by the advertised generating capacity.

I don't know where you get 1000MWh from. MWh is an amount of electrical energy. MW is electrical power; the rate at which energy is delivered.

You seem to have pulled figures out of the air ("The average daily generation from a 1kw [sic] system in Australia is 4KWh[sic].") and then jumbled up the numbers until they supported your argument. PV solar is nothing like "46% efficiency"; nor does it have a capacity factor or availability anywhere near that.

Even if one allowed for the previous year's total installed base (493 MW; which would ignore the 540 MW of "capacity" added over 9 months, and assumes that they only came online on August 31st) for comparison it doesn't reach 16% capacity. Nothing like the 46% you calculate.

Generating plant that is advertised as being 1000 MW should be able to deliver 1000 MW whenever 1000 MW is needed. It is clear that PV solar neither delivers that amount on average; and experience tells us that it's seldom anything like that on demand.

0
0

Regulations don't protect. They will endanger if you believe that they protect.

The regulations require isolation of the solar system from AC and DC side. Like this: http://www.sa.gov.au/subject/Water,+energy+and+environment/Energy/Energy+efficiency/Choosing+renewable+energy+for+your+home/Installing+a+solar+photovoltaic+%28PV%29+system

But that doesn't stop the PV from generating. Electricity is only isolated from the switch "down". PV panels are still "hot". And my statement was with respect to the roof space.

The regulations don't require e.g. a severing of interconnects between PV panels, from which substantial DC voltages are established and can easily deliver a lethal current, even on somewhat-overcast days.

0
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Solar is shit

Yet again we can compare with a knackered 40 year old nuke Hinkley B which produced 6.4TWh last year.

Installation on 8% of Australian roof tops produced 680GWh so it would need solar PV on 75% of Australian roof tops to replace one small old knackered nuke, except of course it wouldn't replace one because solar only produces power during the day when it is sunny.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.