All-Energy Conference Highlights & The Solar Power Challenge

The All-Energy Australia Conference in Melbourne this week was an opportunity for members of the solar power industry to debate ideas and share technology.

All-Energy Australia is Australia’s largest national showcase of clean and renewable energy.

The power of the fossil fuel lobby, the quality of Australia’s solar components and new ways of engaging communities in solar were hot topics at the conference.

Solaray director Jonathan Fisk was quoted in PV Magazine, discussing the benefits of ‘smart solar’:

Be wary of subsiding fossil fuels

Sara Bell, CEO of UK demand response firm Tempus Energy, warned against Australia setting up a capacity market to encourage new generation.

Tempus challenged the UK’s capacity market system, which was suspended last year despite opposition from fossil fuel generators.

The UK capacity market is a yearly auction for ensuring energy capacity in four years’ time. The amount of power needed, the predicted future capacity, is set by government.

Power generation companies then bid at the price they need to stay open, or to build new power stations to meet this capacity. The government then awards companies the financing to enable this capacity.

According to RenewEconomy, Bell told the conference the best market solution is to help energy users participate through demand response.

“No matter how well-intentioned your [capacity market] policy design starts off, it is going to be a fossil fuel subsidy scheme,” Bell said.

“I think it is impossible to create a capacity mechanism that doesn’t become a fossil-fuel subsidy scheme. We legally challenged the UK capacity market under competition law. Basically our legal argument was if customers can do this cheaper, why the hell are we subsidising fossil-fuels?”

Solar components: quality and sustainability critical

SMA’s John Susa says there can be problems with Australia’s rooftop solar installations and components. SMA makes commercial and residential inverters for the solar industry.

He told pv magazine the Australian residential market “has been characterised as one that has a relatively low barrier to market entry for low quality brands”.

“You see also a lot of unqualified promises for higher yield or with certain functionalities, not only from Asian-based manufacturers but other competitors that make claims that can’t actually be backed up.”

Susa says a supplier’s quality and the technical competence is “absolutely critical”.

“In residential, the responsibility should be on the shoulders of the local installation companies and retailers to ensure quality systems are coming into the market. And here we are not seeing any improvement on what has happened in the last five years.”

Solaray is a leading voice in Australia speaking out against cheap solar, and we wholeheartedly agree with Mr Susa. It is our responsibility as an installer to recommend quality solar systems and to warn households of the real dangers associated with cheaper brands, in particular, the high failure rates, lack of performance and unclaimable warranties.

Solaray is a founding partner of the SMA PowerUp program.

Jonathan Fisk, founder and director of Solaray Energy, said: “SMA is a globally recognised brand and a leader in solar inverter technology. We are honoured to be able to offer our customers the SMA SunnyBoy and TriPower range of inverters at competitive pricing along with our industry-leading installation standards and customer support.”

New guide for energy ‘benefit sharing’

Australia’s Clean Energy Council released its Guide to Benefit Sharing Options for Renewable Energy Projects at the conference.

The guide outlines how a renewable energy project can add value in a local area. It looks at how a project can become a welcomed development in the community.

The guide states that, depending on the size of the project, benefit-sharing might include:

  • Providing grants, sponsorships or scholarships;
  • Establishing partnerships with important local groups or projects; or
  • Supporting education and tourism initiatives.

Through benefit-sharing, the developer and the project become valuable in the community by building links and relationships.

Solaray wins RFI Platinum Dealer Award

Solaray has won the Platinum Dealer Award at the All Energy Conference from RFI. The RFI Power Partner Dealer network is the largest of its kind in Australia.

Solar power for homes and businesses

If you’d like to know how clean energy can reduce power costs in your home or business, get in touch with Solaray.

We’ll shed light on the quality solar components you need, and help you make sound decisions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.