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Community Solar Power Australia
Reports and news on community solar photo-voltaic projects.
Curated by Clem Stanyon
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5 Bold and Beautiful Solar Projects From Around the World

5 Bold and Beautiful Solar Projects From Around the World | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
China is building its largest solar plant covering 6,301 acres in the Gobi desert and with capacity to provide electricity to 1 million households. This is just
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Worth a quick look at how it's being done elsewhere, where governments are not quite so asinine as in Oz.

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Large scale solar near parity in world’s three biggest markets

Large scale solar near parity in world’s three biggest markets | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Large scale solar is nearing parity in US, China, and India. Even in the US, utilities are giving up the fight against solar, says leading manufacturer.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

The end of coal is nigh. Can't you smell it?

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SolarLinker's curator insight, August 3, 2015 6:58 PM

The end of coal is near. Can't you smell it?

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AGL targets 400MW rooftop solar in push into New Energy

AGL targets 400MW rooftop solar in push into New Energy | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Germany’s E.ON has already decided to split its assets in two – saying that centralized fossil fuel generation and a strategy to pursue solar, storage, electric vehicles and micro grids are incompatible.

In the US, the largest private generator NRG is pursuing a similar strategy in new energy, and while it has not yet talked of a split, it concedes that centralized generation has no long term future.
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Renewable Energy Revolution: The Biggest Business Opportunity on the Planet

Renewable Energy Revolution: The Biggest Business Opportunity on the Planet | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
If we take the opportunity to become investors in the clean energy revolution, people like you and me will become owners of the world’s
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Not only is the renewable energy revolution coming, we can all participate, if we build the right financial instruments for community PV, too.

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SolarLinker's curator insight, August 3, 2015 7:50 PM

Not only is the renewable energy revolution coming, we can all participate, if we build the right financial instruments for community PV, too.

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ARENA commits funds to boost community renewables : Renew Economy

ARENA commits funds to boost community renewables : Renew Economy | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will provide $165,280 for a strategy to catalyse community renewable energy projects in Australia.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Fresh from a multi-million dollar cut - ~400m, about the same amount that the Liberal NSW government put down for community energy earlier this year - ARENA is still committed to funding Australian's PV revolution. Maybe this is a silver lining; with less funds for big projects, perhaps smaller PV projects will get more traction.

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Energy freedom on or off the grid?

Energy freedom on or off the grid? | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Friends of the Earth member Ben Courtice explores the implications of living 'off the grid' in an article published in Chain Reaction - Friends of the Earth's national magazine. Find other thought-...
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Of course, too many people going off-grid will collapse the whole thing. That's why it behoves the electricity companies to get the balance right and not drive people off-grid by forcing PV owners to pay premium connection fees.

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Why networks need a thin pipe to keep solar guerrillas at bay : Renew Economy

Why networks need a thin pipe to keep solar guerrillas at bay : Renew Economy | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Networks are facing the biggest challenge to their business model since poles and wires were first erected a century ago. It will need new concepts such as a 'thin pipe' model to control costs, retain customers and avoid having stranded assets.
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Boggabri pub leads the way in community solar "revolution" : Renew Economy

Boggabri pub leads the way in community solar "revolution" : Renew Economy | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
A pub in Boggabri is leading a push into community-funded solar projects.
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New rules to rein in price gouging by electricity operators

New rules to rein in price gouging by electricity operators | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
A series of changes in how electricity companies fix their spending plans are to be unveiled on Friday, aimed at tackling once and for all the ''gold plating'' of the electricity network - the reason for much of the surge in power prices over the...
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Not precisely on-topic, but relevant as limiting price increases will mean that people are less likely to move to solar PV options.

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Largest Solar Rooftop In Europe Complete, In Germany! | CleanTechnica.com

Largest Solar Rooftop In Europe Complete, In Germany! | CleanTechnica.com | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it

The largest self-consumption rooftop solar array in Europe has been completed, and it is of course located in Germany. It is eleven hectares in size, consists of 33,000 solar panels, and has a generation capacity of 8.1 MW (which could power up to about 1,846 homes).

 

The record-breaking solar roof is on top of the Pfenning Logistics distribution centre named multicube rhein-neckar, which is located in the Heddesheim municipality, a bit south of Frankfurt. The building was recently constructed and has been owned by Union Investment as of 2012.

 

Dennis Seiberth, president of international large-scale projects at the project development company Wirsol, said: “In this size we usually build solar parks.” He added that Wirsol was ambitious in its aims to build the plant in four weeks.

 

The power plant was connected to the grid in July.

 

“We are happy that we can now partially generate electricity by ourselves,” said Karl-Martin Pfenning, owner and managing partner of the Pfenning group. “With the photovoltaic installation we can annually save up to 5, 171 tons of CO2."

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Germany leading the way as has become almost the norm these days for Green Tech. I wonder if our Big Box retailers might consider diversfication into energy production....

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Climate Commissioner Says Australians Are Rushing To Embrace Solar - CleanTechnica

Climate Commissioner Says Australians Are Rushing To Embrace Solar - CleanTechnica | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
The Canberra Times Climate Commissioner Says Australians Are Rushing To Embrace Solar CleanTechnica And in a blithe dismissal of the ability of households to act smarter, and substitute energy-hogging appliances with more efficient ones, he said...
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Well, now there's a surprise. Anyone want to bet that current forecasts of solar panel installation by 2015 will prove to be substantially on the low side? :-)

"Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery . . . says Australians are rushing to embrace solar for a simple reason – it is saving them money, because it is cheaper to generate electricity on the rooftop of their home than to source it through the massive grid. And because it also has the happy outcome of forcing dirty electricity generation out of the market."

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Raising the roof: solar's stellar double take

Raising the roof: solar's stellar double take | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Electricity supplied from the nation's rooftop solar panels almost doubled last financial year, contributing to the slide in power demand from the grid and lowering carbon emissions.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Key point: "About 60 per cent of the emissions drop results from a shift to less carbon-intensive fuels and the rest from weaker demand."

For 'weaker demand' read consumers being smarter about how they use electricity, including retrofitting buildings for greater energy efficiency.

With balance-of-system (BoS) costs to decrease as the sector matures and approval & installation proccesses become increasingly streamlined, plus the on-going enormous world-wide investment in the technology, anyone who has a roof in the sun will soon be installing PV modules...

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Push for community energy fund

Push for community energy fund | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
MORE than 40 groups have published an open letter calling on the Labor party and Coalition to respond to calls for a community energy fund.
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Rooftop solar suffers another blow as utilities switch tariffs

Rooftop solar suffers another blow as utilities switch tariffs | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Changes in network tariffs are killing rooftop solar as a cost-saving option for businesses, but may accelerate the push to combine solar and battery storage. The networks are being accused of usin...
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Commercial rooftops are one of the more insolated urban spaces available for hosting community power. The utilities are shooting themselves in the foot; so many commercial solar users will go to batteries because of this, which will only decrease the costs of battery use for everyone. The death spiral is assured; I though it would be 2018-20 before batteries had an impact, but it looks more like 2016, now....

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Why Germany's Energiewende is causing ripples in US

Why Germany's Energiewende is causing ripples in US | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Germany's Energiewende is set to prove a low-carbon future without nuclear is best option for a thriving industrial country. Not everyone is happy about that.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Lots of graphs and good commentary. Worth reading; the most important message is that *baseload* nuclear power is incompatible with renewable, which is why many in the US, with investments in the nuclear energy field, are hating renewables...

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Solar energy needs smart solutions, not dumb economics

Solar energy needs smart solutions, not dumb economics | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Grattan Institute reports makes some valid comments on how to regulate a grid dominated by solar and storage. But in seeking cheap headlines it has buried the important bits by making wrong assumpt...
Clem Stanyon's insight:

After describing how the Grattan Institute got it wrong on Solar, the article concludes:

"The headline numbers in the Grattan report are little more than scare mongering. And the industry, one hopes, has moved on. The signs are already good. Network operators talk of a future dominated by solar and micro-grids. Even the retailers are getting on board.

Where once AGL energy demonised solar tariffs as a “scam”, it is now offering to buy a solar system for its customers and stick it on their roof. AGL will even buy you a battery system. Where once Origin once called solar households “free riders”, implying they were stealing from their neighbours, now they are urging customers to use their rooftops to “steal from the sun.”

Solar has won. Storage will see to that. It’s just that some people don’t know it yet. The onus is on the energy industry to be smart about its response, and not rely on dumb economics."

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Playing the field: Corn likes to sleep around -- and that makes it hard to control GMOs

Playing the field: Corn likes to sleep around -- and that makes it hard to control GMOs | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Pollen spreads, so GMO genes get around. That's everyone's problem -- whether you like your farming organic or industrial.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Plants are very unlike us; this is just the tip of the iceberg in how easily they can move genetic material around, and the most obvious mode. There are, however, techniques available to prevent pollen-based propagation of transgenic DNA: chloroplasts, like mitochondria, have their own mini-genome and do not migrate with pollen, so there is much interest in developing GM crops with manipulated chloroplasts; this would keep the GM DNA in the seeds, not in the pollen, and mean that it could only be spread locally.

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The battery storage system that could close down coal power : Renew Economy

The battery storage system that could close down coal power : Renew Economy | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
German battery storage company Younicos believes its has a technology that can break down one of the last barriers to achieve up to 100 per cent renewable energy
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Not for personal use, but quite appropriate in size for a community PV project. Battery power is coming; the change is inevitable. The only question is how much will it hurt the entrenched power companies?

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Solar storage below $100/kWh - with the help of a steam engine : Renew Economy

Solar storage below $100/kWh - with the help of a steam engine : Renew Economy | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Terrajoule, the Australian-led start-up that proposes to use steam engine technology to help deliver cheap solar storage at a distributed level, has landed key funding to help bring its unique product into production by 2015.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Not just solar storage - this does away with solar panels altogether, using solar thermal principles to create steam that drives pistons and thence a turbine, but the steam is then compressed to liquify at high temperature in a well-insulated container, from where it can be recovered as steam when the need arises. All that gives you storage at 1/5th of the price of current battery options.

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Solar: The ‘no-brainer’ that could take suburbs off grid : Renew Economy

Solar: The ‘no-brainer’ that could take suburbs off grid : Renew Economy | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Which suburb, or town, will be the first to take itself off-grid in Australia? It's now a serious question, driven by the plunging cost of solar and the arrival of battery storage.
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Renewable Progress Is Permanent And Irreversible

Renewable Progress Is Permanent And Irreversible | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Originally published on the Lenz Blog
by Karl-Friedrich Lenz
The election in Germany is close, and unfortunately only one out of seven polls sees the enemies of renewable energy FDP under 5 percent.

That’s progress, of course.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Good article, mostly about the German sitation, but applicable here. The "FDP" is a political group withi which you're probably not familiar – I certainly wasn't – but you'll know the type: herein Australia we call them the Liberal Party; in the US, they are the Republicans or the GOP. Two hundred years ago, they were the same prople objecting to the button or zipper, I forget which. Point is this: progress is unstoppable, whether its simply two steps forward and then another forward, backwards or sideways, there is always forward motion.

 

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How Big Box Going Solar Could Impact Utiliies - EarthTechling

How Big Box Going Solar Could Impact Utiliies - EarthTechling | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
EarthTechling
How Big Box Going Solar Could Impact Utiliies
EarthTechling
The electric utility industry faces the risk of declining revenues as more customers install solar panels on their homes and businesses.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Seems almost to anticipate my previous comment... !!

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Photovoltaic Thermal System Achieves 86% Efficiency > ENGINEERING.com

Photovoltaic Thermal System Achieves 86% Efficiency > ENGINEERING.com | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
A photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) system includes a solar thermal collector mounted under a PV panel. This cools the panel - increasing its efficiency - an...
Clem Stanyon's insight:

OK, not quite all about community solar, but if you're going to install something of this sort of footprint, why not get hot water out of the system, too? Why not do that for a community project, for that matter; a lot of council-led initiatives would be good for both. There is at least one example of a solar PV-thermal hybrid system available in Australia - see below for the link.

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Deutsche Bank: Solar, distributed energy at 'major inflection point' : Renew Economy

Deutsche Bank: Solar, distributed energy at 'major inflection point' : Renew Economy | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
Deutsche says most markets for solar are now 'sustainable,' meaning they operate with little or no subsidies, and will overcome backlash from utilities.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

So, with grid-parity, everyone who can find roof-space and money for the up-front cost will go solar. This is the end of corporate hegemony over electricity production and distribution.

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The Obama climate move that nobody noticed

The Obama climate move that nobody noticed | Community Solar Power Australia | Scoop.it
With a behind-the-scenes accounting change, the Obama administration has justified more government regulation to fight climate change.
Clem Stanyon's insight:

Essential reading; a US government department placed the 'social cost' of fossil fuels - the so-called 'externalised cost,' which is what their burning costs us indirectly, through health and environmental degradation - at around $50 AUD per tonne. This means a carbon price of $12 AUD or, worse, an ETS in line with Europe's $6 per tonne, is is ludicrously small.

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