Thursday, April 25, 2013

Over 1 mln rooftop solar panels installed in Australia under gov't support

By AgenciesOver 1 million government- supported rooftop solar panels have now been installed across Australia under the Australian Renewable Energy Target, the office of the Minister for Climate Change told Xinhua Wednesday.
Around 2.5 million Australians are now living under rooftops with solar power, with over 2,000 systems installed each week during 2013 -- a rapid growth compared to 45 a week in 2007.
"It is remarkable when you think that just five years ago in 2008 there were only about 20,000 systems installed across the entire country," said David Green, Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council.
Australian householders can receive discounts on the purchase and installation of solar panels through the Renewable Energy Target, a market mechanism designed to support renewable energy technologies.
The scheme works alongside the government's carbon price and 200 million AU dollars Clean Technology Innovation Program to promote investment in renewable energy.
Beneficiaries include Melbourne-based solar technology developer Semitech Semiconductor awarded a 1.86 million AU dollars grant - funded by carbon price revenue - in March.
The grant will sponsor the development of a single-chip micro- inverter, designed to reduce the cost of solar power systems while increasing efficiency and reliability.
The micro-inverter is expected to increase the power generated by solar power systems by up to 10 percent, without the increased costs usually associated with this technology, and minus any additional processing chips, modems or separate controllers.
"This is a very exciting prospect that will mean practical reductions in costs and support the greater deployment of solar technology," said Greg Combet, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Climate Change.
"They also expect that when this technology is commercialised it will reduce installation costs quite significantly, and this is exactly what the carbon price of course was designed to encourage: the deployment of renewable energy, clean technologies, investment in new clean technologies, in innovative ideas and technologies, and then their commercialisation and deployment," Combet added.