Solar power at midday is so useless, they plan to start charging homeowners for generating it

By Jo Nova

The glut in solar power in Australia is so big that next year solar panel owners in Sydney will have to pay 1.2c a kilowatt hour to offload their unwanted energy between 10am and 3pm. Nearly a million homes in Sydney have solar panels, but only 7% of them have batteries, which means basically, thousands of homes installed hi-tech generators that aren’t very useful. Worse, other homes were forced to pay part of the costs for them. The only winner was China.

Finally, a tiny part of the strangled free market is re-asserting itself, which might slow down future installations, or trick a few people into installing a $9,000 battery. Naturally this unpredictable rule change will hurt the poorest solar owners, but benefit those wealthy enough to afford a battery.

Solar panel owners slugged by Ausgrid for generating too much power

by Caitlin Fitzsimmons, Sydney Morning Herald

The biggest electricity distributor on the east coast plans to charge households with solar panels to export their electricity to the grid during the middle of the day.

Ausgrid will impose a penalty of 1.2¢ a kilowatt-hour for any electricity exported to the grid between 10am and 3pm above a free threshold that varies by month. During peak demand times, between 4pm and 9pm, Ausgrid would pay 2.3¢ an hour as a reward to customers exporting solar to the grid.

The tariff will be charged by Ausgrid and the retailer will decide how to package it. It is opt-in from July this year, and mandatory from July next year.

The Sydney Morning Herald naturally thinks this is backwards and unfair, and in a sense it is, homeowners were led up the garden path. No one was given realistic information before they purchased another useless panel. But where was The Sydney Morning Herald? — it was selling the garden path. If they interviewed a few skeptics they could have told the hapless homeowners that the forced transition was artificial, unmanageable, and the conditions were doomed to be “adjusted” sooner or later.

Solar power at noon is electrical sewage

The wholesale market was trying to send the message. Negative spot prices show that solar is essentially a waste product at lunchtime which needs to be disposed off, a bit like electrical sewage.

Negative spot revenues didn’t really occur until we installed the last two million solar panels that we didn’t need. It is obviously a growing problem now, which suspiciously peaks in spring and summer and falls in winter months –matching the solar output profile by month.

Negative prices on the australian grid. Graph.

https://www.energycouncil.com.au/analysis/negative-prices-and-revenues-in-the-nem-over-the-past-decade/

You might wonder why any generator would keep generating during a glut so bad they had to pay for every watt they generated. But it’s logical in a screwed market — the negative prices are close to the value of the “Renewable Energy Certificates” the government forces us all to pay to solar and wind operators.  So solar owners can produce a product the market essentially doesn’t want, but the government forces us to pay to make it profitable. See how this works?

The point of a free market is that stupid ideas are supposed to be free to lose their own money. That’s a signal to stop doing it.

And if there was some use for solar power at midday, negative prices would have found it. If there was an AI supercomputer that needed to sleep 18 hours a day and only work at lunchtime, the owners would have been beating down the door to get paid to use that solar juice. It didn’t happen.

Here’s the solar power contribution to the NSW grid this month.

Australian electricity Grid, solar power NSW. May 2024.

https://anero.id/energy/2024/may

 

During the solar spikes, hundreds of tons of exquisitely tuned infrastructure that could have kept running, just sits around and waits in case a cloud rolls over. And efficiency gained by solar is lost by the rest of the system.

h/t David of Cooyal in Oz

 

 

9.9 out of 10 based on 101 ratings

132 comments to Solar power at midday is so useless, they plan to start charging homeowners for generating it

  • #
    Uber

    I guess we will await the facts, given that this is an SMH story. Installing solar was a gamble against time. With a 4 or 5 year payoff period, and knowing that the ridiculous credits would disappear, the hope is that we get ten years out of the system.
    The aim of the installation was simply to reduce our usage bill, and it has done that significantly. Even though we are on a currently generous feed-in rate of 7c/kwh, this is of much less consequence than the savings generated by not having to pay for electricity during sunlight hours.
    The next hurdle will be the end-of-life conditions. At some stage the panels will have to be disposed of, and the question is how much councils are going to be charging for that in future. My guess is that it will be quite a lot.

    372

    • #
      Uber

      On a side note, the forecast low for today where I live was 15deg. The actual low was 9.6deg. But we know what’s gonna happen in a hundred years.

      390

      • #
        Ted1.

        I haven’t seen this promoted by comment anywhere, but surely the panels are recyclable. Surely it would be easier to recover those component minerals from a stack of old panels than a shovelful of dirt. Batteries, too.

        That said, I expect to see a lot of dead panels just abandoned until there are enough people really poor enough to go around collecting them.

        And who is going to pay for the leaking rooves?

        40

        • #
          Tel

          Surely it would be easier to recover those component minerals from a stack of old panels than a shovelful of dirt. Batteries, too.

          Problem is that you don’t have a stack of old solar panels … you have bits of broken solar panel spread out here and there over the whole country … some of them still up on rooftops. The collection and transport (using diesel trucks) as well as they human labour required to unbolt them from the roof, load and unload the trucks, drive the trucks, etc is going to make it very bad value.

          That’s not even including all the paperwork and OH&S inspections, payments to unions, accounting, insurance, human resources department, multiple layers of management, environmental monitoring, retainers for the legal team, donations to both major political parties, workers comp payouts, compulsory reports on workforce diversity profile, explaining how Climate Change (TM) will effect your investment prospects, stakeholder meetings, social licence to operate, mandatory training budget, proof that you aren’t secretly involved in the slave trade … plus any retrospective fees and taxes that some future government might cook up on a whim.

          And that’s why nothing much gets done around here.

          50

    • #
      Graeme#4

      The only figure I’ve seen for panel removal was $800.

      90

      • #
        William

        And I bet the panels are being dumped in landfill and leaching toxins into the soil. Future problem remediating the ground.

        160

        • #
          ozfred

          My 13 year old 250w panels apparently still generate about 230-235w of output during the sunny periods of day….
          I don’t want to recycle them I want them to be added to the newer more efficient ones during the winter periods, when the days are shorter and cloudier.
          What the panels earn when exporting energy is a “bonus”, but the real reason for installation was replacement of high cost grid power and inflation protection.

          60

          • #
            Peter C

            I wish you all the best of luck ozfred.

            Your decision (for very understandable and pragmatic reasons) has added to the “high cost grid power and inflation”.

            The ultimate goal is to go “off grid” and I hope that you can achieve that with batteries and a petrol generator.

            60

            • #
              ozfred

              There are enough non-trivial power outages on our regional grid that a generator was bought a long time ago. Somehow there is an effort to “fix” the outage before Western Power has to pay the “prescribed penalty”(seemingly raised recently).
              $120 service standard payment for outages lasting 12 or more hours

              30

    • #
      John Michelmore

      I notice that while we get 15c/kWhr now in SA for some of our surplus solar electricity; AGL’s special deal is now 2c/kWhr. There are going to be lots of happy solar panel owning customers around shortly (Sarc)

      120

      • #
        Peter C

        15c/kWhr is a truly outrageous amout and it is costing poor renters like me a lot of subsidies that are paid to you.

        I hope that your input for solar power is quickly reduced to a penalty rate!

        40

        • #
          John Michelmore

          I’m sorry Peter, I didn’t put the solar panels on my roof. The electricity charging and funding regimes; and the “cheap” renewable energy scams are a government and big business construct, not mine.
          There are still people getting 50 to 65cents per kWhr feed in payment here in SA.
          Maybe we al need to think about how we vote in future!

          40

          • #

            We currently get 66 cent/KWH export on a locked in 15 year plan.Due to expire in a year or so.We are in Vicdanistan .When the plan expires we will then move to using the bulk of our power during the day.Crazy deal but that was the offer back then.

            20

        • #
          Chad

          Peter C
          May 16, 2024 at 7:24 pm · Reply
          15c/kWhr is a truly outrageous amout and it is costing poor renters like me a lot of subsidies that are paid to you

          Where have you been for the last 15+ years ?….
          ..high feed in tarrifs (50-60c/kWh) have been one of the main selling point attractions for solar systems since day one !
          And there will still be these high FITs , but just restricted to peak demand periods .
          It is cheaper for energy retailers to pay high FITs to RT solar customers, than to buy more power from the wholesale market.
          It isnt fair, but life is like that !

          10

      • #
        Peter C

        while we get 15c/kWhr now in SA

        15c/kWhr is an outrageous figure and cannot last! The quicker it is reduced to a penaltyy figure the happier I will be.
        As a poor renter I am outraged that I am paying subsidues for solar that I cannot access myself.

        60

    • #
      Ian

      Agree with your sensible comment. The saving in overall costs far out weighs the costs generated from 10 am to 3pm.

      08

    • #
      John Michelmore

      Wow, That hydrogen to be generated from the excess solar at lunch time is going to be cheap!

      140

      • #

        The equipment to make hydrogen has a capital cost, and if you are only using it for a few hours a day, that cost is going to be very high on a per-unit basis.

        This is a problem with most approaches to use electricity on a when-available basis.

        140

      • #
        Ted1.

        It’s Twiggy’s only hope. Backyard Hydrogen!

        Mind you, this Hydrogen production also produces Oxygen.

        80

        • #
          Shannon

          ……and it uses heaps of water. I thought we were heading for a “dry no rain future” !
          Soooo can we assume in dry spells …our “hydrogen cars” will have limited useage ??? lol

          30

        • #
          Spitfire

          A twist on Chairman Mao’s “steel mill in every backyard”

          Put a new meaning to the renewable energy BOOM!, doesn’t it?

          20

    • #
      Yarpos

      E waste is free at our tip. I am guessing panels will get another classification.

      60

    • #
      Rusty of Qld

      Just leave them on the roof when they clag out, simples. If you wish to continue with the scam via new panels piggy back them on the old ones.

      61

      • #
        PeterPetrum

        After many years inspecting roof voids I doubt very much if the roof structures would bear the weight of two layers of panels, especially if the homes have been built in the last 20 years with structures not designed for additional weight.

        140

    • #
      cohenite

      Do you have a generator? The only reason I have panels and a battery and a generator is preparation for when Eraring goes and blackouts occur. I grew up without power and here we are again not because the technology had failed but because of green madness. It is simply beyond belief. NSW requires about 12000MW at PEAK demand, about 8000MW for baseload. Currently there is installed in NSW about 24000MW of wind and solar. Yet last night at times there was zero power from wind and solar and over the last 24 hours wind and solar has only supplied 13% of demand:

      https://www.aemo.com.au/energy-systems/electricity/national-electricity-market-nem/data-nem/data-dashboard-nem#price-demand

      The midday glut is just another variation of the unreliability of wind and solar which as we all know, but which blackout bowen either is ignorant of or ignores, have a capacity factor of only about 30%. Which means over a year there will be no power from these sources for about 70% of the time.

      But it is not just madness. It is also hypocrisy. At the same time these fools are destroying our fossil energy and preventing any nuclear they will not stop Australia’s exports of coal and uranium to other nations, particularly China.

      Any one who votes alp/greens deserves to live in the dark. The trouble is the rest of will have to do so as well.

      531

      • #
        Ted1.

        Please post this to the editors of all our daily news instruments. Press and electronic press, Radio and TV.

        Surely there must soon be an awakening.

        130

      • #
        Tel

        I have been wondering which types of solar cell inverter will operate purely on a generator and disconnected from the grid. Yes … this is in planning for blackout situations.

        What I’m worried about is the possibility of instability … generators normally are not designed to handle other power sources on the same circuit. While solar inverters are normally intended to use the large size of the grid as their reference. Running solar cells off a generator might cause a burst of voltage cycling and the one or both sides shuts down.

        10

    • #
      StephenP

      Maybe someone could set up a new business producing blinds,like those used on greenhouses, which would automatically unroll to cover the panels when they get into the negative income state around midday?

      10

  • #
    Kim

    If you don’t put a load on the energy then it doesn’t get ‘used’. Just don’t connect it up.

    130

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      Yes. The big question for mine is whether the inverter manufacturers can update their software to isolate panels from the grid on a timed basis.

      141

    • #
      Frederick Pegler

      I supect the main goal is to ‘con’ people into installing batteries.

      230

      • #
        Yarpos

        Yes, this does nothing to address the problem , its just a price signal to those with large solar installations to think about batteries. Its a couple of cents now , what will it be in a 2025?

        A friend of mine is going to be peeved , he has a very large installation that has been on a long term contract at a very high FIT. He is going to go rapidly into reverse gear. He is a bit of a character so it will be funny.

        100

    • #
      Robert Swan

      Kim,

      If you don’t put a load on the energy then it doesn’t get ‘used’. Just don’t connect it up.

      AIUI, an unloaded panel still captures energy from sunlight — dissipating it as heat — and if this happens a lot it’ll shorten its life.

      110

      • #
        Peter C

        Really?
        It has a lot of surface area and is not very efficient. Would it even notice?

        10

      • #

        From ‘sunny’ England, I guess that a white sheet or tarpaulin over the panels will reflect the sunlight, and so reduce mightily – if not eliminate – the feed-in.
        Obviously no need for that here … yet.

        Auto

        20

  • #
    Serge Wright

    So, after years of encouraging people to install solar panels to produce excess power at midday through subsidies and attractive tariffs, they finally realise that excess power at midday when it’s not needed will kill the grid, so they then force us to stop producing the excess power by charging us for what they encouraged us to do in the first place.

    And to think we pay these people with our own hard earned tax dollars to make these decisions.

    510

    • #
      Yarpos

      Nobody will stop, its just revenue raising and battery promotion.

      120

      • #
        Old Goat

        Yarpos,
        Spot on.The “penalty” that solar producers pay will go to twiggy forest – Boofhead Bowen has just promised to subsidise his latest booddoggle . Dodgy Dan has joined in with twiggy to sell green steel to china. What is the word for a massive group of carpetbaggers ? (hedgefund…?)

        70

  • #
    Lawrie

    So why are the solar rebates still available? It is long past time when all the subsidies for renewables was dumped and the savings passed to the consumer or simply taken off their bills. Albo could probably keep his promise of $275 without any further action.

    260

    • #
      Lawrie

      I received my electricity bill today. $593.21. The daily access charge is $168 of that. My solar system earned $106.25 for feed in and I used the equivalent of $427.60 for a total of $533.85 for the quarter. It has been a particularly wet and overcast quarter so the panels do save money. How long they do so is dependent on the quality of the panels. Hopefully when mine need to be replaced or decommissioned we will have either HELE coal plants or nukes providing reliable and cheaper electricity making solar and wind redundant.

      50

  • #
    Honk R Smith

    “Naturally this unpredictable rule change will hurt the poorest solar owners, but benefit those wealthy enough to afford a battery.”

    Jo, we can’t save the planet without breaking a few le… I mean, eggs.

    Besides …
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/climate-scientist-calls-for-mass-depopulation-to-fight-global-warming/ss-BB1mrxDW

    Tough choices have to be made … like on the Titanic … excepting for the Captain and the men going down with the ship part, which is just outdated Toxic Masculinity.
    Remember to get vaccinated as recommended by Public Health officials that are the representatives of Science.

    250

  • #
    Art Betke

    Might be worthwhile to install retractable shades to cover the panels at midday…

    180

  • #

    A long time coming but I’m laughing.

    230

  • #
    Robber

    But Blackout Bowen keeps telling us that solar power is free.

    260

  • #
    Bruce

    And, unless all those domestic solar “farmlets” are producing perfectly synchronous, PURE sine-wave, correct voltage output, they are a menace to the grid.

    Furthermore, unless said “juice” is applied “more-or-less equally” to the three phases that run down the street, it will get “untidy”.

    This field of play is NOT for the moonbeams and fairy-dust crowd. However, those are exactly the sort of fantasists, (and MUCH worse), actually swinging off the levers, so to speak.

    This will NOT end well, nor is it so intended. “Eggs” / “Omelettes”, and all that

    The usual suspects are sitting on a bunch of (final) “solutions”, each one in search of a “suitable problem” on which they can be hung.

    280

  • #
    Scott

    My only comment on this is we have no other option but electricity. There are no gas pipelines going near or past our property and bottle gas is horrendously expensive so we switched to wood fire for heating.

    The other change was to convert our electric hot water to run at noon this gobbles up the main solar output.

    None of us wanted solar and put it off as long as we could but with soring electricity costs this was the only way to reduce them. I refuse to put in a battery. We are also already limited to a max 5kw back into the grid at any given time. Our $0.05 per kw/h feed in really does little to help offset costs.

    next step will be an isolation switch back to the mains so we cant be cut off and a generator input rather than leads.

    120

    • #
      John Hultquist

      but with soring electricity costs

      A neat turn-of-phrase — love it.

      60

    • #
      Graham Richards

      The Federal Government is giving you $1,000.00 in credit & if you live in Queensland the state government is also giving you credit of $300.00 or more because they have stuffed up the economy!

      Question! Does that mean that you’ll still be getting credit for the feed in from your roof panels?? Maybe they’ve forgotten that because they very seldom look more than 10 minutes ahead of the policies they introduce. Can’t wait to see what actually happens!!

      60

    • #
      Lawrie

      You could use your midday power surplus to run the air conditioner. The drawback is that the A/C uses 6.3 kWh while I only generate about 5 kWh on a good day. NTL paying for 1.3 is better than paying for 6.3.. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if everyone found a way to use all their solar power themselves forcing the big boys to buy more coal and gas generated electricity.

      60

  • #
    old cocky

    If there was an AI supercomputer that needed to sleep 18 hours a day and only work at lunchtime, the owners would have been beating down the door to get paid to use that solar juice.

    It might work out for Bitcoin mining, but I don’t think they have access to wholesale pricing..

    60

    • #
      John Connor II

      Ah, but those huge government spying data centers will suck some serious juice 24/7 so problem solved.😉
      And energy suppliers can remotely control the grid tie inverters disabling excess energy input, or you may be able to do it yourself, so again no problem.
      Or how about FREE POWER for the old people and poor during peak output times, and charities too, those that can’t afford to cook, heat and cool, so they CAN?
      That’d be a nice gesture…

      80

    • #
      LG

      The progressives hate BTC because it “wastes” electricity, even though they also believe electricity will soon be cheap and abundant thanks to solar and wind…

      21

  • #
    Graeme#4

    Wouldn’t worry me if they stopped me exporting power to the grid – the small export earn rate of just 7c/kWh doesn’t really impact the savings I make. I think the real issue is the high usage of home solar energy in spring and autumn, requiring the grid to reduce its output to prevent the grid voltage from rising above 260V.

    90

    • #
      Graeme#4

      After re-checking, will need to modify that statement, as my export earnings comprise 33 to 41% of my savings. Without the export earnings, my system payback period would have extended beyond 10 years, but should still be within the inverter’s lifetime.

      50

  • #
    Neville

    TOXIC UNRELIABLE Wind and Solar are either famines or feasts and some windy sunny days will see far too much generation and cloudy days and frosty STILL nights will be a real bummer in the winter.
    The trouble is in the future we’ll see many more LETHAL home battery fires and loss of homes and sometimes loss of life. Big surprise NOT.
    Let’s hope we can see some common sense prevail and stop these idiot govts from closing down any more Coal power stations until this mess is cleaned up. But I’ll believe that when I see it.

    210

  • #
    CO2 Lover

    It’s not only Teslas that catch fire

    Consumers are being urged to check their solar energy storage systems for unsafe LG solar batteries, after the Assistant Treasurer today issued a proposed recall notice for specified LG solar storage batteries, which can overheat and catch fire without warning.

    Across Australia, 13 incidents of property damage have been linked to the affected batteries, including a house in Victoria that was destroyed.

    https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/proposed-compulsory-recall-of-dangerous-lg-solar-storage-batteries#:

    40

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Another house lost in Perth last night due to a fire that started in the garage. They are very careful not to attribute the house losses to lithium batteries.

      210

  • #
    CO2 Lover

    Australia already has more solar panel than the power grid can support – so what does the Albanese Communist Goverment do?

    The government’s $1 billion “pit to panel” investment in domestic solar panel manufacturing is too little, too late, an analyst has warned as the new Solar Sunshot program bolsters Australian companies to compete with predominantly China-based industry giants.

    The Solar Sunshot program, which was announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as a way “to supercharge Australia’s ambition to become a renewable energy super power at home and abroad”, will see the government funding production subsidies and grants under the auspices of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

    “The manufacturing industry has been a bloodbath over the past 15 years,” he told Information Age, noting that several erstwhile Australian contenders “have all disappeared.”

    “Companies that were at the top of the list in terms of size and financial viability, either don’t exist anymore or are at the bottom of the list,” he said, questioning whether solar manufacturing “is a technology risk that justifies government involvement.”

    Australia is a “high labour costs country” and solar “a pretty mature technology”, Wood said, meaning that “this idea of making solar panels makes no more sense than making electric cars in Australia.”

    https://ia.acs.org.au/article/2024/govt-to-invest–1b-in-solar-panel-manufacturing.html#:

    150

  • #
    Maptram

    Who needs a battery if you have an EV. Just charge the EV between 10 am and 3 pm. Perhaps there could be a buy one get one free sale on EVs.

    71

    • #
      Ronin

      Some bloke runs his vineyard and winery off a Nissan Leaf, reckons it saves him heaps.

      41

      • #
        Chad

        Until recently, the Leaf was the only vehicle with “V2L” ( vehicle to load) ability, which enables an EV to act as a electrical storeage and return it to a domestic feed.
        However, the latest wave of chinese (BYD etc) PHEV technology HYBRID cars also have this ability from their 18-20 kWh batteries..
        This , together with their lower (than EV) cost, and dual hybrid ICE drive, offers another option for anyone with RT solar , and requireing off grid storage without committing to a dedicated stationary battery.

        But the BYD Hybrid is a better option !

        PS, A 39 kWh Leaf can now be bought for <$40 k, ..which if you think of the cost to install a domestic battery of 20+ kWh, …..gives you a cheap car too !

        10

        • #
          Chad

          Just to add..
          Currently the cost of a solar back up domesric battery is approx $1250 /kWh installed , such that a 20 kWh system would be $25k ( + a likely inverter upgrade !).
          Also, remember that using V2L from a PHEV,, not only provides a battery storage for RT solar, but also the ICE in the PHEV can act as a back up generator for the domestic feed if the battery should get completely discharged !

          50

          • #
            Mike Jonas

            So the solution is to use petrol- or diesel-generated electricity. What an expensive farce.

            60

            • #
              Chad

              Mike Jonas
              May 16, 2024 at 3:13 pm · Reply
              So the solution is to use petrol- or diesel-generated electricity. What an expensive farce

              Well , for those that have solar and want to get off the grid, a back up generator is par for course , even with a battery !
              For someone with solar but still grid tied, a battery is now a sensible option…
              …..and if you suspect the grid may soon become less reliable,…a stand by generator might just be a worthwhile investment.
              And a generator that you can also use to drive to the beach/pub/ pizza shop,..is a nice bonus !

              10

  • #
    David Maddison

    Follow the money trail.

    Purveyors of batteries will profit from this.

    I hope insurance companies charge extra for home owners with batteries so the premiums of non-battery owners don’t go up.

    Like all hare-brained schemes of the Left, there was never a rational engineering, scientific or environmental reason for this madness. The slave army of useless idiots who promoted and demanded it just followed the instructions of the Elites who made and are making vast amounts of money from it.

    170

  • #
    John in Oz

    Why are the small people having to pay and not the large solar farms?

    It should be easier to turn off/disconnect a large installation than 00’s/000’s of small roof-top systems

    As an aside, new houses in my location are unable to feed back to the grid as the street infrastructure does not have the capacity to handle any further solar inputs. Perhaps that is another way to control input from roof-top systems. Just turn off the feed-in side of smart meters

    61

    • #

      John depending on the contract the large solar firms might already be paying. Those negative wholesale prices potentially affect all large grid generators. Right now those negative prices are slowing down people bidding to bring in big solar plants (or according to Jeff Dimery of Alinta, they’re stopping nearly every kind of big generator).

      Nagative prices at lunchtime didn’t affect small solar PV — or only indirectly through a downgrading of retailer offers to householders which would have been more generous if solar power sold for good money at lunchtime. Imagine if solar was useful, the retailers would be rushing to compete for clients with solar.

      However the RET carbon credit certificates neutralized the price signal somewhat. They paid solar generators even when it didn’t make sense. And I don’t know if there are curtailment compensation clauses on solar plants. It’s possible that solar farms might have guarantees to be paid even when the product is useless. I know wind farms often do, but I don’t know if that is true of solar.

      50

  • #

    It’s going to be a punch in the face for a lot of people. It’s basically a phase out, or the beginning of one? Just like that….there was something in the contract….
    So what happens now as they get old and need disposing? Lots of holes in that perfectly good roof and it’s buyer home buyer beware with that useless toxic array just sitting up there looking ugly as they always did….it’s just that for a while it was a mark of sophistication and smarts. I’ve felt for a while that the owners will ultimately get slugged for disposal.

    140

  • #

    Just stick that extra solar power in a battery provided free by the “Electrickery” Company . It can always be used later when it’s dark so that you can read a book by electric light. Or charge the EV for 10 seconds……………….

    60

  • #
    HB

    I can think of a small scale use for excess low capital use it to make nitric acid by the eyde process
    The govt will love it so will your garden (along with a little lime) There is also a market to a group of clandestine actors.

    20

  • #
    A.J. Mckinnon

    Where I live near Mildura Vic. the Grid automatically cuts off Feed-In when it gets too much for the Grid to handle. I do not get paid for the power that is now not going to the Grid . I do not see how a charge can be made for the Power not fed in. ……. Also most of my panels face East and West , not North. I get less power at midday when the Grid can not handle it , but get more power earlier and later in the day than if all panels were facing North. ……. There is a slight loss of total power made , but an increase in power I can use and feed in when the Grid will accept it. …… I had to explain this to my Installer.

    100

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    But but, hang on, spare a thought for the batteries.

    40

  • #

    How ridiculous. Imagine a Coal/Gas/Nuclear Electricity generating Power Station being asked to stop providing electrical power. Oh, of course they are now owing to Wind/Solar ‘power’ corrupting the Grid. This never happened 30 years ago.

    Lets get back to basics and a Feral Guv’ment that actually looks after the People and not themselves. The Good Old Days.

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    Neville

    I understand this isn’t about rooftop Solar but here’s a a reminder what Lomborg said about the true cost of Toxic W & S energy. Here’s his recent article and the relevant quote about the true cost.
    Don’t forget that 5 times USA GDP would be about 125 TRILLION $ and 10 times global GDP would be about 1000 TRILLION $.
    Are these governments really this barking mad?

    https://stephenheins.substack.com/p/trillions-in-taxpayer-subsidies-havent

    “A new study looking at the United States shows that to achieve 100% solar or wind electricity with sufficient backup, the US would need to be able to store almost three months’ worth of annual electricity. It currently has seven minutes of battery storage”.

    “Just to pay for the batteries would cost the US five times its current GDP. And it would have to repurchase the batteries when they expire after just 15 years”.

    “Globally, the cost just to have sufficient batteries would run to 10 times the global GDP, with a new bill every 15 years”.

    “The second reason the claim is false is that it leaves out the cost of recycling spent wind turbine blades and exhausted solar panels. Already today, one small town in Texas is overflowing with thousands of enormous blades that cannot be recycled”.

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      RickWill

      the US would need to be able to store almost three months’ worth of annual electricity.

      The study is nonsense. It extrapolates data for the Northeast of USA to the whole of USA.
      https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2023.1076830/full

      The primary focus of this present paper is the Northeast region of the United States,

      It only considers sunlight on a flat surface

      Solar radiation has far greater seasonal variations than wind (considering its median value). Solar radiation goes through a 3.6 times increase between the winter (82.9 [W m-2]) and the summer seasons (295.5 [W m-2]).

      It only considers an excess capacity factor for covering the demand not for system minimum cost:

      The “(adjusted) excess installation factor” for solar installation ranging between 1.17 and 1.20

      My off-grid solar system has a native capacity factor of 4 times the minimum system cost CF. My off-grid battery can serve the demand for 48 hours. I need just 2 hours of full sunshine equivalent over 48 hours to keep the battery charged. So average CF of the solar is only 3.8%.

      Population density is likely the limiting factor in the Northeast USA. There is simply not enough land to place solar panels and their long winter shadows to extract the required energy. I discounrt wind because no one has done a proper resource analysis and I am coming to the conclusion that air “stilling” it a serious local climatic risk.

      By the way, at 37S I can get the rated output of a solar panel from around 10am to 4pm any day of the year simply by facing it toward the sun.

      The authors of these articles have not been reliant on solar power to run any operation. Their thought process is highly constrained by what they currently observe.

      I did an analysis for solar power in the UK and there is simply not enough land area to use solar energy to run the country. Extracting wind energy has seruiously high climatic risks.

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        Graeme#4

        While I believe that three months’ storage may be excessive, there was some additional data in their calculations that made me realise that 48 hours’ storage is insufficient for a large-scale grid system requiring very high reliability.

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          Mike Jonas

          For the nation, or even for an off-grid household, 3 months is not enough. That’s because if there is an extended period of below-average generation, the batteries have to have been fully charged and kept fully charged until the start of that period, and then they have to last until the end of that period – which could be a lot longer than 3 months. It doesn’t have to be a no-wind or no-sun period, just one with supply below demand. A miserable cloudy year or years could easily build up a deficit of more than 3 months demand. Note that you can’t add new batteries if you start to realise that the low-supply period might be longer than planned for, because the batteries have to have been fully charged before the low-supply period starts. Once the low-supply period starts, there’s no power for charging new (or any) batteries.

          The situation with fossil fuels and nuclear is entirely different. If you are running a bit short, just get in some more fuel or ask your neighbouring grids to boost supply (assuming they are connected to yours). It does assume, of course, that you didn’t close so many fuel-powered stations that you don’t have enough to meet demand. And, of course, any fuel-based power station can back up any other power station, same or different fuel.

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          RickWill

          their calculations that made me realise that 48 hours’ storage is insufficient for a large-scale grid system requiring very high reliability.

          So what is in their calculations that enabled you to draw such a conclusion?

          Their study is highly flawed. I have 12 years of experience and have achieved 99.8% availability.

          If you are reliant on the current grid as your sole source of power and you have critical loads then you have a serious problem. All hospitals will have some form of back-up power and some testing protocols. Most supermarkets have some form of back-up power these days to keep freezers going. Both South Australia and Texas have proven the validity of this. People died in Texas when the power went off.

          The thing about a 750GWh battery supplying the daily demand averaging 22GW is that the daily load profile is not going to alter much. You will also be able to forecast when the battery is getting low. So you introduce load management as done now or start your small top-up plant to charge the system.

          The most economic system for household would have a small generator but it adds another layer of complexity in operation so it just easier to add solar panels.

          The statistical analysis in the US paper is junk. The only way to do the analysis is on time-run data for both demand and WDG output. Obviously the longer the history the better the result.

          Wattclarity has a much more valid approach for the mix of various generating sources to meet the projected half-hourly demand through 2025:
          https://wattclarity.com.au/articles/2024/04/optimising-a-highly-renewable-nem-from-scratch-part-2/
          This is Part 2.

          The optimised VRE + Firming Capacity system modelled in this analysis requires:
          56 GW of Variable Renewable Energy capacity supplying 160 TWh of energy in 2025,
          15 GW / 4 hours of storage capacity supplying 3 TWh of energy in 2025,
          5 GW / 14TWh of (existing) Hydro, and
          8 GW of open cycle gas supplying 4 TWh of energy in 2025.
          The total capital (excluding Hydro) is $169 billion. The VRE cost is $123 billion, and gas firming capacity cost $46 billion.

          So the 56GW of WDGs producing 160TWh gives a CF of 32% with is the unconstrained CF. So the battery capacity of 15GWh and 3.75GW is just large enough to avoid most of the economic curtailment of the WDGs.

          The 160TWh corresponds to about 75% of the current yearly demand of 210TWh. That is achieved with 15GWh of battery capacity and 5GWh of hydro. Getting from 75% to 100% gets increasingly expensive but there is already substantial hydro that can be used to top up a battery. With the current hydro capacity in Australia, something like an 80GWh battery would the job.

          This analysis is realistic and not based on the BS in the US paper.

          My scoping study that arrived at the 240GW of solar and 740GWh of battery was based on actual solar farm output and demand for the worst month of the year for only one month. So had no margin but there is existing hydro that adequately covers the margin.

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            Old Goat

            Rickwill,
            While you are correct regarding some of the aspects of the situation the elephant in the room is rising energy required in the future . If you electrify everything the numbers get huge and the variations get much larger . Hydro requires having water supplies and grid scale batteries are not being used anywhere . Almost nobody is even close to running on renewables and the ones that are have massive hydro.

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    Ando

    Solar panels are nothing more than an electricity bill reduction scheme for the well off, paid for by those that cant afford them.
    Just have a look at any major city on google earth and check which suburbs have the most panels – it aint the poorer ones…

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      ozfred

      And the renewable energy installations being made by the remote mining companies are first and foremost to reduce the expense of diesel used to generate electricity. And that is stated up front.
      Err…. when is a mining company not remote?

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    RickWill

    The biggest electricity distributor on the east coast plans to charge households with solar panels to export their electricity to the grid during the middle of the day.

    This improves the economic case for household batteries.

    Ausgrid is creating the seeds for its own demise. As a distributor, its choices were to provide the storage or force consumers to provide the storage. It has chosen the latter path.

    Ultimately the costs of the degraded grid will be shared among fewer consumers.

    The energy bill rebate sort of corrects some of the imbalance between poor and not so poor. My reading is that if your quarterly electricity bill is less than $75 then you will not get the full rebate. So those making money from export will get no rebate.

    There remains the fundamental issue that WDGs have no economies of scale. Same solar panels are used in grid arrays as rooftops, albeit some grid arrays can track the sun. But for a solar powered grid, only the winter sunshine matters so the grid schemes with single axis tracking are no better than rooftop panels set to maximise winter input. The grid scale are burdened by the cost of land acquisition and transmission costs.

    Trump has condemned offshore wind in the USA so the sovereign risk has gone up a notch there. Dutton’s tilt to nuclear could pose a similar sovereign threat but not quite as in-your-face as Trump.

    Payback for household battery in NSW will now be well under 10 years.

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      FarmerDoug2

      Drat. Fat thumb hit red thumb.

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      MP

      Is this what you do every day, seek out the next subsidy to harvest.
      While your sorting through my wallet again, see if there is a clip of notes labled “GST”, if not South Australia’s been through it first.

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        Adellad

        Check out Mr Chalmer’s budget and other announcements recently. Having done said analysis, please come back to me and explain why SA is “the mendicant state” when all available $$$’s seem to go east and west of here. The Benedictine chanting about SA is more than a bit boring, and it’s been going on for about as long as well.

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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    Any excuse by the greedy energy cartel to make money off the ‘solarized’ public: Yet again forced to financially suffer the consequences of the fanatical, Socialist Albanese government’s renewables-only energy policy boondoggle.

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    Penguinite

    What an absolutely despicable joke has been played on us!
    “solar power in Australia is so big that next year solar panel owners will have to pay 1.2c (in Sydney) a kilowatt hour” for the excess or install a $9000 battery.

    To placate us Governments will drip feed small rebates and simultaneously levy various taxes to recoup the pittance they outlay.

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    Simon

    Homeowners could always buy an EV and have zero travel costs for a lifetime. Inexpensive Chinese EVs are coming, many models retail for around US$10K in China. If the Biden Administration does apply a 100% tariff on Chinese EVs to protect Ford & Tesla, Australia will be a very attractive export market indeed. A technological revolution has arrived but as is always the case, some are too blinkered to see it.

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      ozfred

      Those Chinese EVs at US$10K will never pass Australian (or USA) safety standards.

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        Simon

        ANCAP is not a high hurdle. Some modification is necessary, but these are far more sophisticated cars than we have seen in the past. They will cost more than Chinese retail.

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      Chad

      Inexpensive Chinese EVs are coming, many models retail for around US$10K in China. If the Biden Administration does apply a 100% tariff on Chinese EVs to protect Ford & Tesla, Australia will be a very attractive export market indeed. …

      Chinese EVs all seem to suddenly double in price as soon as they roll off the ship..even in AUSTRALIA.
      The price of the $10k BYD “Seagul” EV is being suggested as listing at $31,000 Au when it get here !
      I can see the technology revolution, but i do not see any advantage to the average citizen !

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        Simon

        Only slightly more expensive than the ICE equivalent but no weekly fuel bills. Individuals need to do the math to see if it stacks up for their particular situation. I did and I doubt I will ever buy an ICE again.

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        • #
          Chad

          slightly more expensive than the ICE equivalent but no weekly fuel bills.

          Sure, no “fuel” bills, ….where would you get this free electricity to recharge ?…
          Not from the grid,
          Not from public charge stations,
          Not from RT solar ..( even if you have surplus capacity, it still has a cost to it, and the car needs to be at home all day to utilise it)

          EVs do have some benefits , but saving money is NOT one of them. !
          Oh! ..and if you just want a small car, you can buy a new ICE Kia for under $17,000 .

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      Simon the 100% tariff is political postering because the Chinese going to build the car in….. MEXICO! which will circumvent the tariff as it is bound by the North American trade treaty (USMCA trade agreement) that is why you need to read it up:

      Joe Biden Announces Tariffs on Non-Existent Products from Non-Existent Origination Country – Here’s Why

      Excerpt:

      BlackRock investment firm writes the regulatory and economic policy for Joe Biden’s administration. That’s the quid-pro-quo that maintains the Biden political financial operation. All of DC know it. No one does not know. The ones who claim they do not know about it are all pretending. Republicans take the background BlackRock bribes and pretend.

      BlackRock positioned massive investment assets inside Chinese auto manufacturers, MG, BYD, and Chery. The three Chinese companies are in the process of moving North American auto manufacturing to Mexico, specifically to make EVs. The Chinese EVs made in Mexico will come into the U.S market tariff free under the USMCA trade agreement. China and BlackRock will make billions.

      Today, Joe Biden announced a series of tariffs against China in the EV industry. [SEE HERE] The Chinese EVs are not being made in China. The tariff regime is a farce – a total joke.

      LINK

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        Simon

        That’s the problem with tariffs, they create dumb distortions. I see many extolling Trump, but he will be the most protectionist President since the 1930’s. Tariffs are a sure fire way to turn recessions into Depressions.

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      LG

      But solar generates during the middle of the day, when people have driven their cars to work. If you get up in the morning and drive to work (as most people do) how are your panels sitting at home going to charge the car during the day? By the time you get home peak solar generation will have past.

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        RickWill

        You ride your bike to the train station. Leave the BEV at home (not in the garage) but being charged so it is ready to use by the weekend. BEVs are driveway ornaments not real transport.

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          Raving

          People will own EVs as mostly storage batteries sitting in their driveway. rarely used for transportation. For the occasional long trips people will own an ICE as well.

          The impetus is to keep the EV parked and use the ICE.

          Habit of power usage wins out over driving the EV for frugality. The ICE gets used more often.

          Chinese EV will come to mean ‘Ornamental driveway battery’.

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      Yarpos

      “….buy an EV and have zero travel costs for a lifetime”

      Oh dear, it’s getting worse

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      Raving

      You see where all this is rapidly going Simon?

      Free energy for those who produce their own with no opportunity to sell to the grid.

      Home solar + EV + batteries + thermal ballast. Great if you keep your EV home during the day.

      Woe to those who must take power off the public grid.

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    Neville

    Peta Credlin talks to the IPA’s Daniel Wilde about the 750 million $ solar farm in the King Valley of Vic and the concerns of adjoining farmers and CFA fighters etc about the monster footprint + transmission lines.
    Farmers are also concerned that they’ll be unable to afford insurance for property and crops if this lunacy goes ahead.
    And Flannery’s Climate Council are now trying to convince govts that Aussie’s ownership of private cars isn’t necessary. IOW we should be able to walk or ride a bike to get around.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk_TZ5P8NAg

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    gazzatron

    From the SMH article- “Solar Citizens chief executive Heidi-Lee Douglas said households with existing rooftop solar were “doing the energy grid a favour by exporting cheap, clean solar that their neighbours can use” and there should be more incentives rather than penalties.”

    Where is the “cheap” part of the energy exported Heidi-Lee Douglas? Once the Solar generated energy is in the grid it is sold to the neighbours at the Power providers retail price.
    Perhaps power should be free to all between 10am -2pm when the sun is shining?

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      RickWill

      Perhaps power should be free to all between 10am -2pm when the sun is shining?

      There are retailers offering free power from 11am to 2pm. Not just on sunny days but every day.

      The grid scale batteries are often paid to charge through the middle of the day.

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        Raving

        Fill up at home for free.Fill up at the office for free. Keep an extra ICE car for those long distsnce trips. Park an extra EV in the driveway as an ornamental home battery. Say hello to more expansive multicar families! Life is good.

        Green economy becomes green bloat.

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    TdeF

    Wait till they introduce a super tax on people charging electric cars. And road duties. And shut off car chargers whenever they like. But only after the next election of course.

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      TdeF

      You lead the sheep into the pen. Then you shut the gate. Foxy Loxy will have Henny Penny and Looesy Goosey and all their friends. All it took was ‘the sky is falling’. And they believed it.

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    John Connor II

    And in breaking news Albo has appointed Darth Vader to the role of renewables energy minister as we’ll all soon be going to the dark side.

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    Neville

    The FED National party leader explains how Labor are now paying Twiggy to help DESTROY the environment in QLD, with his loony so called Green hydrogen plans etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFo2B8MDlnc

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    🛁(Spirit of Jojothedogfacedboy)🚿🌡️🌬️☃️🏔️

    The BRICS information station…

    https://tvbrics.com/en/news/news-of-republic-of-tatarstan-to-become-available-to-audiences-of-leading-media-outlets-of-brics-cou/

    Seems very well organized as a starter for the new dollar replacement.

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    Neville

    Aidan Morrison from the CIS explains to Chris Kenny how Labor and the CSIRO leave out so much of the REAL COST of their so called Renewable energy fantasies.
    And we could soon have another version of a co2 tax to worry about.
    We obviously should build only BASE-LOAD energy and forget about EXPENSIVE, UNRELIABLE TOXIC W & S.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP5ERDzJc1c

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    Philip

    People will start to turn their solar panels off. I have them on my roof, disconnected.

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    Harves

    During peak demand times, between 4pm and 9pm, Ausgrid would pay 2.3¢ an hour as a reward to customers exporting solar to the grid.

    Good to see they are rewarding those who’ve managed to generate electricity from their panels at 9pm.

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      Chad

      To be fair Harves, there are already plans that pay the customer for electricity to be exported at those peak times , pm and am .
      Obviously it is not solar gererated at those times, BUT it is solar that has been stored in a solar battery, and then returned to the grid.
      However, most of those plans pay a premium price ..much greater than the grid supply price….in order to make it attractive.. it can be quite lucrative for those with large solar systems and large batteries.
      It is basicly a “domesticated” version of the wholesale market .
      But , 2-3 c/kWh is just taking the pi55 !

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    John B2

    The table under the statement, “ Here’s the solar power contribution to the NSW grid this month.” shows the solar power generated by grid solar in the red and an estimated amount of household solar feed into the grid in yellow. The black line shows the total demand for electricity. This is not for NSW but for the whole of the National Electricity Market which does not include WA or the NT.

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    Ausgrid powers up the first of 400 community batteries under new Australian Government program 8Sep2023
    https://www.ausgrid.com.au/About-Us/News/Cabarita-Community-Battery

    Sounds like Ausgrid is saying out of 1 corner of their mouth – “you will now pay us to feed solar into grid at certain middle of the day times”
    And then out of a different corner of Ausgrid mouth “that power we charged you to give to us free – we will use that to charge up our community batteries and then charge customers who draw power from the community battery” – “you dummies who generated the first free electrons – you will end up penalized out of this scheme we thought up”

    and some more recent news from ACT
    Three new community batteries are on the way for Canberra thanks to $1.5 million in funding from the Albanese Government. 20April2024
    https://www.nationaltribune.com.au/rollout-of-new-community-batteries-for-canberra/

    I always thought rooftop solar owners would be financially at risk unless they joined together in an association.

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    CryptoNerd

    Why doesn’t the Australia government utilize this glut in digging Bitcoin?

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