"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Sunday, May 22, 2011

NSW to inspect Solar panels for safety! Solar panels losing their Shine!

 The solar panel "rip-off-your neighbour" schemes are under fire on multiple fronts. The Labor "green" scheme seem to be following a well-worn track following the insulation installation debacle and the "cash-for-clunkers" fiasco, as problems with shonky solar panel installations emerge.

NSW Fair Trading will carry out statewide checks of solar panels installed under the controversial solar bonus scheme after potentially fatal flaws were discovered.
Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts has ordered the safety checks after an audit of panels installed in 55 homes in Port Macquarie revealed 16 were problematic.
Three were found to have "serious" flaws.
Issues encountered included potentially dangerous wiring and signage defects.
Others were found to be non-compliant with building regulations.
The checks were carried out in February.
"It is a concern for Fair Trading, and we're going to go out there and do more audits to make sure consumers can be confident that when they're installing these systems it's done appropriately," NSW Fair Trading Deputy Commissioner Steve Griffin said.
The audit will initially focus on the Sydney metro area, he added.
New NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell is a new broom sweeping through the detritus left by the outgoing Labor Government and is facing a huge billion dollar shortfall for the stupidly generous solar rebate system instituted by his predecessors. Moves to cut rebates significantly retrospectively are under way causing great angst in the solar industry . 
ORDINARY families across the state are furious government subsidies are under threat after paying up to $22,000 for solar panels in the hope they would one day have free electricity.
As Premier Barry O'Farrell's plans to cut back the solar bonus rebate are set to spark a possible split in Caucus at Tuesday's meeting, new figures show the top take-up of homes is highest in Western NSW and on the state's Far North Coast.
About one in 10 homes are powered by solar energy in Dubbo in the state's Central West, in Ballina and Brunswick on the state's North Coast, with similar numbers for Bega on the NSW South Coast.
The O'Farrell Government has announced plans to slash the rates paid to households who generate solar electricity from their systems for the electricity grid from 60c per kilowatt hour to 40c until the scheme ends in 2016 in order to save $470 million. But the Government is battling a backlash from MPs who have been inundated with complaints from households.
Meanwhile in West Australia things are no better for the solar industry where the Government is also reducing tariffs to make the scheme more affordable.
Thousands of WA householders will get less money from the power their rooftop solar panels produce after the Barnett Government slashed the amount it will pay for surplus output.
Less than 12 months after unveiling the initiative, the State Government revealed in the Budget that it was halving the feed-in tariff for households with photovoltaic cells.
The move will save the Government $18.8 million over five years and "ensure the feed-in-tariff scheme remains sustainable in the long-term", according to the Budget papers.
For people signing on to the scheme after June 30 or installing a system after September 30, the decision will wipe about $2000 - or $200 a year - off the amount the tariff pays.
Under current arrangements, households are given 40¢ for every kilowatt hour of energy they export back into the electricity grid.
The amount is on top of the 7¢ offered by State-owned retailers Synergy and Horizon.
But the rampant popularity of the scheme - combined with generous Federal Government rebates for solar panel installations - led to a 500 per cent blowout in its cost to $146 million.
Energy Minister Peter Collier conceded that the changes were an acknowledgment the scheme was becoming unaffordable, saying it was a "very, very expensive exercise".
Mr Collier said that apart from clawing back the tariff, the Government would also seek to limit the scheme's cost by imposing a 150MW generation cap.
It comes as the amount of domestic-scale solar capacity rapidly reaches 100MW, with almost 50,000 homes subscribed across the State.
It always had to come to this and anyone with half a brain should have been able to  see that a policy of reducing your power costs by asking your neighbours to pay for them would be in the long run politically unsustainable .


  1. People are so gullible aren't they?
    What they seem unable to understand is that no matter how many solar panels are installed, someone still has to pay the cost of generating the same base load of electrical power so it is available to anyone who needs it whenever they flick a switch irrespective of the prevailing solar conditions, which of course, due to fluctuating weather, cannot and do not guarantee a reliable ongoing source of power 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
    So who pays?
    Well in one way or another, everyone does of course!
    As they must do, the power generation and distribution utilities simply increase the tariffs to cover the actual cost of generating power irrespective of how much consumers actually use. In other words, if we were all to start using only half of the power we used to consume the unit cost of the power we do use would simply double or thereabouts so we would all end up paying same amount we have always paid...or as we are now finding out, even more to cover the cost of the solar subsidies plus the huge sums of money they are spending on advertising and the like trying to convince us they are really 'Green' and want us to use less power.
    As we are rapidly finding out, the same goes for water. Even though we consumers are using less than ever, we are paying more than ever to cover the cost of providing us with water, plus the mad schemes our Federal and State governments come up with.
    It's sheer madness.
    Wake up Australia!
    It's a pitiful joke and we are the scapegoats.
    It's time to get really angry folks and let them know we will no longer stand for such fraudulent and inexcusable behaviour!!!

  2. Great point there Teejay. It really got me thinking. Seems like the feed in tariff incentive schemes weren't studied thoroughly before they got implemented.

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