Energex Solar Stitch up

IF ENERGEX get their way hundreds of thousands of homeowners with solar panels face losing the generous feed-in tariff, if they do one thing the power distribution company is fighting tooth and nail against.

Energex’ recent submission to the Queensland Productivity Commission electricity pricing inquiry left a lot of solar system owners concerned about their systems and their plans to add batteries at a later stage.

Energex recently increased their daily supply charge from 91c per day to $1.28 per day. The Off Peak Tariff and Night rate tariff are also set to go up, on top of this is the daily meter charge for each meter installed. The latest addition to this is a proposal to remove the 44c  feed-in tariff that currently 265,000 solar system owners in Queensland have been enjoying, if they add batteries to their existing system.

This proposal in particular has upset many system owners because it appears it directly targets those who try to make the most of their renewable energy without causing further harm to Energex’ network (or the planet). Energex’ concern is twofold:

Consumers could potentially store energy in batteries at off peak rates and sell it back to the grid at 44c per kwh.
If consumers store their solar energy in batteries they would then use this during later that day/evening. This is the exact time frame Energex has earmarked for newly planned demand-based tariffs. I.e. between 7 am and 4 pm you may pay 20c per kwh, but during 4 pm to 8 pm you pay 40c per kwh.

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New Technology for Qld

Queensland installs Australia’s first Powerwall battery for solar trial

The Premier has made it clear that green energy, particularly solar, is crucial to the government’s ongoing plans for meeting the state’s energy needs.

Premier Palaszczuk said the trial would ensure that Queensland would remain a leader in solar technology with the government setting a goal of “one million rooftops, or 3,000 MWs of solar PV capacity in Queensland by 2020.”
She added that “the emergence of ‘Battery Energy Storage Systems’ will play a key role in achieving that goal.”

Queensland boasts one of the highest rates of household solar panel systems in the world, although uptake in recent years has been inhibited by a dramatic cut in the rate consumers are paid for power that they return to the grid.
The commercial release of the Powerwall this year is widely expected to drive popular take-up of a system that at best would supply about seven hours of nightly power for televisions, air-conditioning and other appliances.
However, the cost of solar batteries remains a key barrier for the fledgling industry in Australia. Estimated time taken to recover an investment in a Powerwall, which can range from about $10,000 for a household already with solar panels to $17,300 for an entirely new system –  is between 17 to 26 years.

excerpts from – Guardian News and Media Limited

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