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  • Energy Storage A Big Factor For Solar Households

    Energy Storage a Big Factor for Solar Households

    In yet another interesting twist to the solar story, it has been suggested that the falling cost of solar and battery storage means that the average Australian household could find it cost-competitive to go off-grid by 2018.

    Feedback from solar installers suggests that between 15 -20% of current solar customers are enquiring about storage, with an estimate that installation of battery storage systems in Australian homes could reach around 1,000 a year by the end of 2014.

    One of the reasons cited is the decision by regulators to assign a low “value” of solar exports, forcing homeowners to look at how to “self-consume” their solar output rather than export it back to the grid. Recent decisions by network operators such as Ergon Energy and Energex to place restrictions on rooftop solar systems exporting back into the grid will do the same, and battery storage is an obvious option.

    Australia currently has around 3.4GW of solar PV on household rooftops (and some businesses), but this is expected to rise six-fold out to 2030 as households invest another $30 billion in solar systems.

    With the CSIRO noting that half of domestic demand could be met by solar and storage on-site, this move towards ‘going off-grid’ is causing a great deal of debate, with some arguing that battery storage at the household level is likely to be most cost effective if the household remains connected to the grid, and simply uses the grid when storage is insufficient.

    Ergon Energy says it is inevitable that households will turn to storage, mainly because it is cheaper than the unsubsidised delivery of centralised power. It will also save the network operator money because it won’t have to build so many poles and wires.

    In response, numerous companies are poised to roll out home energy storage solutions in coming months.

    Source:
    http://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/news/energy-storage-system-installs-rise-1000-year-2014-solar-homes-off-grid-180714?utm_source=SC+Installers&utm_campaign=61b05f3752-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_016c841e49-61b05f3752-84518437

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  • Solar Power Soars To New Heights

    SOLAR POWER SOARS TO NEW HEIGHTS

     

    Believe it or not, it’s no longer out of the realms of possibility that solar power can be used to fly a plane. In fact, that’s exactly what happened just a few weeks ago in the skies above Switzerland with the maiden flight of the Solar Impulse 2, a bizarre looking but remarkable aircraft that relies solely on solar energy to get around.

    #Source: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/can-plane-fly-around-world-sun-power-alone-180951674/?no-ist

     

    The brainchild of inventors Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the idea for solar flight was designed to show the world what can be done with renewable energy.

    Our goal is to show that it is now possible to achieve things considered impossible without fossil fuels”, Piccard said.

     

    With Solar Impulse 2 flying for 2 hours without incident, plans are now in place for a planned trip around the world, beginning next March. This ground breaking solar flying trip is to be broken into five or six stages over several months, primarily for the benefit of the two pilots who will take turns at the controls.

    While the inventors are not out to reshape human flight, their mission is more focussed on the idea of pushing the envelope of solar technology.

    "Success will not come if we just fly around the world in a solar-powered airplane,” said Riccard. “The real success will come if enough people are motivated to do exactly the same in their daily life: save energy, go to renewables. This is possible."

    #Source: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/can-plane-fly-around-world-sun-power-alone-180951674/?no-ist

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  • Solar Message Spreads Across Suburbia

    Once considered the domain of ‘wealthy greenies’, solar power is fast becoming the power system of choice for the average Aussie home.

    According to a new report from Roy Morgan Research, the number of Australians with solar panels has more than doubled in the past three years, from 7.5% in March 2011 to 16% (that’s more than 3 million people) by the end of 2013.

    And much of the latest growth has been amongst retirees and residents of outer suburbs.

    Even reductions to feed-in tariffs have not stopped nationwide demand for solar power installation. According to Darren Gladman, policy manager with the Clean Energy Council, the main motivations for switching to solar are return on investment and skyrocketing power bills.

    With the cost of solar panels plummeting over the past four years, return on investment is better than ever. Remember, just a few years ago a solar system would have cost as much as a small car, while now you can purchase a quality system for about the same price as a big screen TV.

    Regardless of whether you sell electricity back to the grid or not, today's average-sized solar systems are cheap enough to pay for themselves in around six years.

    And as more and more Australian homes fall victim to the dreaded bill shock – residential electricity prices rose an average of 14% in 2013 – the energy savings benefits of solar power are becoming even more attractive.

    And far from being an indulgence of the middle class, many of those now signing up for solar panels are retirees and others on a tight budget who are drawn to the idea of controlling their energy costs.

    Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/keeping-the-sun-from-going-down-20140311-34k1y.html

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  • The Best Solar Power Systems On The Block

    The team at Beacon has had a long-standing association with “The Block”, Channel Nine’s hugely popular renovation series. Since its inception years ago, we’ve been supplying the contestants with lights, fans, globes and fittings for every room renovation.

    And this year, we were delighted to see that Beacon Solar has now become an integral part of the action.

    With rising costs of power and concerns about the carbon footprint top of mind  for every savvy renovator, The Block team has long championed the use of energy efficient solutions wherever possible.

    Solar power has been embraced by many homes and businesses looking to find more affordable ways to access power.

    And as one of Australia’s leading providers of renewable energy solutions, Beacon Solar was the obvious choice to solar power the apartment complex currently under renovation on The Block.

    We installed a 4.8kW grid connected solar power system, consisting of 16 x 300W LG High Efficiency Mono X™ NeON Modules. Supplied by LG Electronics Australia, the new N-type Modules are designed to significantly enhance the output efficiency compared to existing high efficiency modules. 

    Solar Panels

    image via ninemsn The Block Fans vs Faves website

    8 Greenstar GS500 Micro-inverters operate the system. Micro-inverters are the latest in solar technology to come to the Australian market, and in our opinion, are the future of solar power.

    This state-of-the-art solar technology means that each panel has its own inverter, which produces between 5%-25% extra generation than traditional inverters.

    This allows for greater installation flexibility if there are roof space issues, and maximises system performance if there are shading issues.

    The Block Terrace

    image via ninemsn The Block Fans vs Faves website

    Designed to power the common areas at The Block, the system has projected outputs of 6307.20kW annually, which is expected to avoid 68,622 emissions per year (in terms of black balloons).

    When the apartments are finished (and sold!), the new residents will be able to monitor the system’s production, real time outputs and daily solar savings via a monitoring software program displayed on a tablet inset in the wall of the foyer.

    For more information about the brightest solar power systems on the block, contact us here

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  • Could The Price Of Solar Power Systems Be About To Rise?

    In 2001, the Australian Government introduced a mandatory Renewable Energy Target (RET), which created a financial incentive for the establishment and growth of renewable energy such as solar and wind power.

    The move was undertaken in order to cut emissions from Australia’s coal-dependant power sector, and was designed to ensure Australia generated 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

    Recently however, it was announced that a major review into the impact of clean energy on retail power prices was planned, which will also include reviewing the Renewable Energy Target.

    While Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the outcome of the review was not set, there is a possibility the Renewable Energy Target could be removed altogether.

    What this mean for solar customers, is a potential price rise in the cost of solar. If the incentives currently available are reduced or cut altogether the out of pocket expense for going solar may increase.

    While everyone here at Beacon Solar eagerly awaits the outcome of the review, if you’re thinking about making the switch to solar, now is a great time to do it. Especially as none of us can predict what will happen to the price of solar power systems in the near future.

    So don’t put it off it off any longer – and start enjoying a lifetime of power savings.

    Talk to us today about how we can help you make the switch.

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  • Solar Big Winners During Australia's Biggest Heatwave

    It was one of the longest, most uncomfortable heatwaves on record. And the bad news is, these ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ heatwaves are predicted to become more and more commonplace.

    The soaring temperatures may have melted water bottles and frazzled the world’s best tennis players, but they did unearth some great news about the benefits of solar power.

    While traditional power supplies strained under the constant demands of power-hungry air conditioners, rooftop and ground-mounted solar installations upped their share of power use and generation throughout the country.

    With solar power taking centre stage, wholesale pricing was reined in and the number of power outages was reduced.

    A study undertaken by the Australian PV network also found that solar power played a significant part in reducing the overall level of demand at any given time.

    According to the Australian Solar Council, South Australia was a shining example, drawing 9.41% of its energy needs from solar systems when operational demand was at its peak. That figure was 9.13% for Western Australia, 8.64% for Queensland, 3.59% for New South Wales and 2.8% for Victoria.

    So on a personal level, solar customers enjoyed the cool comfort of knowing they could run their air conditioners for longer – and for less cost – by drawing energy from their solar panels, rather than the electricity companies.

    And in a broader sense, their choice to switch to solar was also paying big dividends for their community by decreasing demand on the country’s power supply.

    So before the next ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ heatwave hits – and experts predict it most certainly will – why not keep your cool no matter what the weather, and make the switch to solar.

    Source: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/solar-power-saves-the-day-during-australias-record-heatwave_100013970/#axzz2sEf5slE0

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