Australia has a raging debate on the green sector and in particular the will or lack of will to address the ‘dirty’ brown coal based coal fired power generators and their future. the argument generally goes that:
- solar power is too ‘intermittent’
- we need to continue our dependence on coal fired thermal power stations because they offer the lowest cost for electricity generation in Australia
- ‘renewables’ do not offer a long term replacement solution for 100 percent of Australia’s energy needs
Solar power is now on parity with coal and gas generated electricity. If we look at the environmental damage these forms of power generation create and the associated ‘costs’ of mitigating that damage then the economics of carbon based electricity production look very bad.
A recent article in qz.com reports that:
“Solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in more than 30 countries, the WEF reported in December (pdf). As prices for solar and wind power continue their precipitous fall, two-thirds of all nations will reach the point known as “grid parity” within a few years, even without subsidies. “Renewable energy has reached a tipping point,” Michael Drexler, who leads infrastructure and development investing at the WEF, said in a statement. “It is not only a commercially viable option, but an outright compelling investment opportunity with long-term, stable, inflation-protected returns.””
The full article can be found here
Solar Battery Storage
The ‘intermittency’ ‘problem’ for solar panels systems, that is the fact that they only generate electrical power during daylight hours has been the longstanding issue with solar – in terms of it rivaling coal generated power. The emergence of solar battery storage systems like Tesla’s and Panasonics means that within 10 to 15 years MOST Australian homes can be grid independent – or up to 85 percent according to the CSIRO and CEC.
The future for ‘green tech’ is looking bright!! – Bob Brown, my hero, would be happy!