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The Solar Electricity Debate …

May 18, 2011
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“The Solar Electricity Debate”
By: Herman O’Hermitage
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Herman’s Comment:

The new NSW government has gone back on the previous governments electricity price paid to solar electricity producers. The solar industry is calling for natural justice. What an amazing conundrum. Consumers are faced with a price increase of over 6% to pay for the previous governments largesse, or the government (taxes and expenditures) pays, or those who intended saving (solar installation industry) pays.

The problem belongs to the previous government. Send them the bill. But they acted in good faith! Really, or was it just political expediency? As we have seen in many other scenario those without voice will pick up the tab.

This has all the same attributes as the Peter Garrett’s Home Insulation scheme or Julia Gillard’s economic stimulus School Building scheme. Why would you trust them to get the NBN or the pensioner’s set top converter initiatives right. The clowns could not find a sausage at a butcher’s barbeque.

The solar scheme was wrong in that it did not address base load. This means it works fine in summer when natural energy runs air conditioning units, but at 7pm on a cold winters night when people get home from work and want to warm the house and cook a nice hot dinner, there is not solar energy being produced to cover that requirement. Here if we were using gas or wood, which is on demand, all would be fine, but generating extra electricity is not so easy.

There are solutions, but they do not include quick fixes. Just think Sydney electricity was priced at about 18c per kilowatt and solar producers are being paid 60c per kilowatt. In economics that is called disequilibrium. I am sure many wags could come up with other descriptors, not quite so refined.

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Herman …

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  1. May 20, 2011 at 7:04 am

    The debate on natural energy is abundant – in the past we have talked about ocean ‘tidal’ energy capture – “solar” – “wind” – and the like – the issue has always been how to transport and save/store electricity – battery is the only real alternative – but as carbon pricing enters the equation and diverts research to ‘natural energy’ – a solution will be found –

    With Ocean ‘tides’ a constant as compared with ‘wind’ and ‘solar’ – i.e. incoming and outgoing tides are a 27/7 global occurance – capturing the natural energy within that resource is no more difficult than any hydro scheme – again transport and storage is the issue –

    Take for example the “Great Australian Bite” – and the ‘Nth Western Pilbra’ costal region – massive tidal surgers in isolated areas – and the energy produced in these two areas on a daily basis can supply Australian’s daily demand many times over. Infrastructure and transport of that resource is the equation –

    Domestic Solar heat is brlliant if energy produced can be used by the home producing it – turning it back to the power grid is pure marketing with the carrot being the 60c k/w price used to sell the hardware – ‘Hermans’ comment about solar energy not being available when needed comes back to the storage debate – the technology is there to store this energy in reusable batteries – it is not the same as electricity – but it is energy and will heat water and hot-plates – this is not brain-surgery science – it just comes down to understanding and the will to push forward –

    The problem with the Carbon debate – emmissions and diminishing resources – is not fully understood at any level – the debate is held behind closed doors with scientist on either side helping to push their political debate because they want funding … vested interests – what has happened since “Inconvienent Truth” – an awareness marketing prop – it is not a ‘carbon’ emmissions issue anymore – but the other ‘nasties’ and for Governments to try and formulate a ‘tax’ on carbon based on the ‘climate-change’ mantra – is pure thuggery and Mafia type opportunity …

    When will we get to have the real debate in an open forum …

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