Tag Archives: australia

The Renewable Energy Target & how you can help save it!

Much much discussion within the Solar Industry of recent months has centered around the beloved, and potentially endangered, Renewable Energy Target (RET).  You may have heard some of this discussion here and there, and wondered, What is the RET? How does it affect me if it stays around or not? Please read on, these questions, and more, will be answered as I explain the important role of the RET within Australia’s Renewable Energy Industry.

 

Let’s start at the beginning; in 2001 the Australian Government introduced a Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) of 9,500 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) on new electricity generation (by renewable sources), with the scheme running until at least 2020. An Expanded Renewable Energy Target was passed on 20 August 2009, to ensure that renewable energy obtains a 20% share of electricity supply in Australia by 2020.

 

To ensure this new target, the Government committed that the MRET will increase from 9,500 GWh to 45,000 GWh by 2020, the scheme was then adjusted to last until 2030.   In short, the RET is a means to ensure that a minimum percentage (20% by 2020) of electricity that is generated in Australia, originates from renewable sources. The RET achieves this by providing a ‘rebate’ incentive to both large-scale generators (i.e. wind and solar farms), as well as the owners of small-scale systems (i.e. households and businesses with solar power systems on their roof).

 

The dollar value of the solar power rebate is calculated into certificates based on the expected generation of the solar panels in that particular solar system, over a 15 year period. These certificates are created upfront, upon the installation of the solar system and the owner of the solar power system then has the option to surrender their certificates to the solar installers, or another agent, in return for payment.

 

The RET has been a very effective scheme to assist in ensuring that solar power systems are affordable, and if reduced or removed will have a devastating effect on the Renewable Energy Industry. For example, if the RET were removed, the cost of a solar system could skyrocket to as much as 150% of the current solar power prices, due the removal of the rebate. Needless to say, this is not a sustainable jump for any Industry.

 

The Federal Government has recently received a ‘review report’ on the RET, which includes recommendations to either scale back or entirely remove the RET.

 

This is why friends, that I implore you, if being a part of the renewable/sustainable energy generation (one that takes better care of our environment for our generation and those to follow) is of any importance to you, please add your voice to the thousands who are standing up solar.

 

A couple of ways you can do this is by going to:

  • visiting this website and joining the petition; and/or
  • getting in touch with your Federal Member for Parliament (all it take is a short email), to show your support for the RET and the role it has to play in ensuring a cleaner, greener Australia.

 

As always, if you have any questions regarding this blog or anything else regarding Solar or Electrical, my team and I would only be too happy to assist you.

 

Please call us on 07 3633 0163.

 

Israel Vogel.

Solar in Queensland, where to now?

As we steam our way into the second half of 2014, we find ourselves in an even steadier Solar Power market in Queensland.

2014 has been an ‘ever settling’ year for the Qld Solar Power Industry, with a small speed bump just recently, in July, with the introduction of new Energex and Ergon requirements for Grid Connected Solar Power Installations.

Looking back over previous years, we have seen the abrupt reductions, and removals, of Government subsidised “Feed-in-Tariffs”, as well as massive reductions in the STC rebate scheme.

Even just at the beginning of this year we saw a number of DC Isolators recalled from the market due to faults that were discovered to pose a significant risk.

Sadly, these factors have somewhat prolonged a general feeling of confusion and apprehension by many people, towards Solar Power.

On top of this, the above mentioned issues have contributed to (but must not be blamed for) what I call, the “shooting star”, short-lived, rise and fall of so many large and small Solar Companies.

This, in turn, has only exacerbated the public’s hesitance towards Solar Power, due to the concern of the validity of long term servicing and warranty promises.

The Good News: This “settling” of the Solar Power market in Queensland (due to the factors previously mentioned) is largely influencing the “fly by nighter” and “cash grab” companies to leave the industry due to more moderate profit margins now being general practice.

On the other end of the spectrum, it is important to continue to practice caution towards the dirt cheap Solar System prices still available also, as the figure of speech goes “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”

Most often cheap solar prices mean cheap products, cheap installation, and cheap after sales service.

 

“So, what now?”

 

The prevailing message is that now, more than ever before, you have a far higher potential of finding a Queensland Solar Power Company whose intentions are to provide you with a quality service, right from first point of connection through to after sales service, all at a fair price.

In order to find such a company, I would encourage you to:

 

1. Look Local!

A number of positives here including greater ease to reach your Solar Company for support and assistance, as they are geographically closer.

 

2. Enquire as to the Vision of the Company.

If you want a great Solar Power System, great Solar installation, and great ongoing Service, ask your prospective Solar Company representative what they are passionate about? It should be about seeing their customers benefit from the awesome advantages of Solar Power!

 

3. Trust your gut instinct.

When asking questions like the one previously posed, ask yourself “Is the person genuine?” “Are they really interested in what is best for me, or are they just looking for an easy sale?”

 

4. Ensure things are explained in terms you understand.

Make sure prospective benefits of Solar Power for you, are explained clearly and you are shown how it will specifically affect your situation, not how it will affect a generic household! It is important that your pattern of power consumption is taken into consideration.

 

My team and I would love to assist you with any or your solar queries, concerns or questions.  
Don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 3633 0163.

Until next time, enjoy the sunshine!

Israel Vogel, Owner & Director.