Tag Archives: Renewable Energy

  • Will Gas Prices Soon Be On Par With Electricity?

    With Queensland’s huge LNG export projects set to start production next year, there is real concern that gas prices will skyrocket.

    For some small businesses, this could mean a gas bill increase of $2,500 to $3,000. On the domestic front, high gas users in Melbourne can expect price rises of about $435 a year.

    Even with this news, independent think tank, the Grattan Institute, is opposing calls for some gas to be reserved for domestic use. Instead, the report has recommended that governments consider raising tax and royalty rates on gas producers in response to rising prices.

    Electricity and gas prices in Australian homes have already increased significantly over the past five years. But the completion of coal seam gas projects in Queensland is predicted to see gas prices more than double over the next few years, with local consumers having to pay the higher export price for gas.

    Gas export production sparks fiery debate over WA’s “protectionism policy”

     

    To avoid export price parity, Western Australia already puts aside 15% of gas reserves for domestic use.

    However, Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood, said this “protectionism policy” has deterred investment and increased gas prices in WA.

    Mr Wood’s analysis has been disputed by the head of WA's DomGas Alliance Matt Brown, which represents natural gas users such as Fortescue Metals and Alcoa.

    He stated that 2013 was a record year for gas exploration investment and LNG exports. He also argued that the policy has not deterred big projects including Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone projects off the north-west coast of WA.

    Scott McDine, the national secretary of the Australian Workers Unions and spokesman for the Reserve our Gas Coalition, also disputes the Grattan Institute's analysis.

    After commissioning a report which found that one-in-five manufacturers could shut down because of skyrocketing gas prices, the AWU has called for a national gas reservation policy in line with policies implemented by other major gas exporting nations such as the United States.

    Next few years difficult for gas users

     

    With the Grattan report predicting that the cost increase will price gas out of power generation and lead to more coal being used for electricity, Tony Brown concedes that the next few years will be a difficult time for businesses and households, but added that he does not support government intervention, such as subsidies.

    Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-20/gas-price-increases-no-cause-for-reservation-policy/5827098

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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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